HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — At the start of the year, Luis Lopez moved his barbershop to a bigger location with three more chairs and more than twice the rent. Then, when the coronavirus pandemic hit, he had to close, plunk down more cash for upgrades to health safety standards and wait for state officials to allow salons to reopen.
Now, Lopez owes $10,000 in monthly rent for the coveted space in Southern California's downtown Huntington Beach and says he can only keep paying it if he can cut hair at his Orange County Barbers Parlor. But Gov. Gavin Newsom said that isn't allowed under new closures issued this week to curb soaring numbers of infections.
“With all due respect, I can't close my doors. I just really can't,” Lopez said. “I am going to have to shut my business if that is the case. “People say work from home or do house calls, but people are still getting fined to do that, so what's the difference?” he added. “If they come in and shut us down, then that's what is going to have to happen.”
Associated Press writer Julie Watson in San Diego contributed to this report.