CORONAVIRUS

Barber Fully Booked Every Day Since Reopening, Makes COVID-19 Adjustments

Apr 28, 2020, 11:01 PM | Updated: 11:10 pm

PRICE, Utah – One local barber has been booked with non-stop appointments since being allowed to reopen last week, providing a glimpse of what could be in store for similar businesses statewide.

For a place known for its haircuts, it’s his phone keeping Lenny Pagano about as busy as he is with his scissors.

“Hello, Gent’s Hair Styling, can we help you?” Pagano said with each call he answers. “Yes, I am. I’m back to work finally.”

Ever since he reopened his Price barbershop last week, it’s been non-stop phone calls and customers.

“I didn’t realize how many customers I had,” he said with a laugh. “I have been booked every day.”

After 49 years, Pagano had to close last month because of coronavirus concerns.

When the Southeast Utah Public Health Department allowed businesses like his to reopen as long as they had a safety plan, he couldn’t wait.

“It hurt financially. You depend on that money coming in to pay your bills. We all have bills,” said Pagano.

Now, he sanitizes everything after every customer.

“We want to be safe in here. I try to keep everything clean,” he said.

Pagano wipes down a chair between customers.

Pagano also wears a mask, keeps customers at least six feet apart and watches them closely when they come in.

“I watch the customers to see if they have a little cold or something. And if they do, I just turn them away. I say you go and get a little better and then come back or whatever,” said Pagano.

It also helps Pagano said he knows all his customers and they know him.

It’s that personal relationship and trust he said allows him to go to work again without being worried.

“I feel sorry for the real old people because they shouldn’t come out. Maybe I’m getting old too,” he said with another laugh.

Young or not, his customers have sure missed him.

“Getting long and shaggy,” Rudy Sandoval said as he sat down in Pagano’s chair for a much-needed haircut. “I’ve been waiting for this for a few weeks.”

However, Sandoval also said he appreciates the extra steps Pagano is taking to try and keep everyone safe.

“I trust Lenny a hundred percent to cut my hair,” said Sandoval.

Pagano also said he has learned two new things through all of this; one, he could always be cleaner.

“There are a lot of germs out there. I think it woke a lot of people up,” he said.

And two, he’s not ready to retire just yet.

“I got sort of depressed just staying home, you know? And I thought, let’s get out there and do it, you know? Just watch yourself and be careful,” said Pagano.

That’s good advice for any time.

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Barber Fully Booked Every Day Since Reopening, Makes COVID-19 Adjustments