Businesses are adapting

By Glenn Barnett

Sam the barber is open for business in his parking lot. Photo by Denis Kerechuk.

The phased reopening of businesses in California had a setback recently, and many businesses had to shut down again. Then on July 20, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that barber shops and hair and nail salons could reopen if they could operate outdoors.

That was all Sam Artino of Sam’s Barber Shop, 1103 E. Main St., needed to hear. The next morning he called some of his regular customers, moved one of his barber chairs into the parking lot, put up a shade tent, and by 7:30 a.m. was cutting hair. Every appointment for the day was snapped up quickly.

The opening even made the news. A news van from KTLA Channel 5 showed up to record the event that showed businesses can reopen while taking prudent caution against the spread of an insidious disease. Reporter Lauren Lyster was on hand to describe the scene, and Sam’s opening was seen on the news throughout the day.

Sam has been cutting hair by appointment for 62 years indoors. “The response to the outside opening from my customers has been overwhelming and has shown me what really matters,” he said.

Sam’s experience demonstrates what it takes to stay in business during the pandemic. Be creative, take advantage of circumstances and, keep in touch with customers.

Bun and Burger, 1000 E. Main St., created outdoor dining by moving tables and chairs onto the adjoining sidewalk and even into its parking lot. The servers have a greater distance to travel, but the restaurant is making a go of it.

Bahn Mi Che Cali, 647 W. Valley Blvd., strictly enforces social distancing while offering outdoor seating, takeout, and delivery services. They open at 6 a.m., ahead of many of their competitors.

Sage Bistro, 521 W. Main St., and many other restaurants, have been offering delivery and curb side, no contact takeout since mid-March. They are the businesses doing whatever it takes to survive. There are many other businesses in Alhambra doing what they can to keep going. Spread the word. We can make Alhambra flourish again, thanks to people like Sam Artino and all the others who are adapting and changing.


phased reopeningSam's Barber Shopcustomersparking lotpandemicBun and BurgerBahn Mi Che CalSage Bistroi

Feb 2021


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