'This is a free country, no?' - Barbershop rents space for haircut as it struggles during COVID-19 crisis
A struggling barbershop in Brooklyn remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it went against city and state regulations by renting out a space for a haircut.
"This is a free country, no?" said Iyla Iskhakov, owner of The Beard Barberia Cut and Shave.
The coronavirus pandemic did not stop Iskhakov from opening shop on Tuesday. Frank Scurlock, of Liberate America, rented out the barbershop for $500 to cut his fiancee's hair because they couldn’t find one open.
"She wants to take care of herself and I want to give her that,” said Scurlock.
"He rented the place from me to cut his girlfriend's hair, so I needed the money for rent, so I said OK, sure,” said Iskhakov.
Iskhakov says his rent is $4,000 a month and that he’s a few months behind since closing in March due to COVID-19.
"My workers need money, everybody needs money,” said Iskhakov.
The NYPD was on scene for the haircut and spoke with the owner, but tell News 12 they did not issue the barbershop a summons.
His shop remains closed to the public, but he says he wants to open like other businesses in the area.
"Open up the stores, look at the wine store they’re open, the sandwich store they’re open, the pizzeria is open,” said Iskhakov.
He says he has a plan to reopen when allowed. "I could have three people at a time, I have five barber chairs, we could have six feet distance, one barber for every other station. I can make that happen,” Iskhakov.