SILVER LAKE (KABC) -- Santiago Bermudez is the newest barbershop owner on the block. But he's not new to the neighborhood. Bermudez previously worked at Vinny's Barbershop in East Hollywood for seven years.
Bermudez said he was supposed to takeover Vinny's as the new owner, but in the midst of lease negations and with the pandemic striking in March, they had to give up the space.
"I kind of worried because I didn't have a job, essentially. And, you know, I had four other guys that worked with me. And my whole thing was just trying to find a place that we all can continue working and hopefully not lose all the work that we've done because being a barber, it's really hard to build a clientele."
That's when Bermudez and his wife Sean took a risk, and moved into a space on Hoover Street, inspiring the name Hoover Barbershop.
"We were trying to stay in the neighborhood because we all had customers and clients in the neighborhood," said Bermudez.
They opened their doors in June. But he said it hasn't been easy due to the restrictions for barbershops and salons during the pandemic.
"I got into this job and one of the selling points is like, hey, this is a recession proof job. This job has never not been needed," said Bermudez.
"And here we are, you know just basically, at the mercy of the CDC and the state government and that's really stressful because all I want to do is do my job, help my customers, my friends," Bermudez continued.
But at the beginning of September, officials announced that barbershops and salons can reopen indoors with up to 25% capacity.
And the couple said they can't wait to have their clientele back.
"Once you sit in the chair, it's still you and your barber, and you've probably known him for a long time and the stories are all the same, and the jokes are all the same. And the bad advice is still coming pretty freely," said Sean Bermudez.
602 N Hoover St.
Los Angeles, CA 90004