How and when will our high streets return to something like normality? As the government starts to ease lockdown measures, Ladywell Live talks to Xpressions owner Tulin and Alina and Joel of Cafe Oscar’s about their plans
Xpressions owner Tulin says it will be just two at a time
Tulin has spent 26 years building up her successful hairdressing business Xpressions in Ladywell high street. But now she is fretting about its future.
“After seven weeks in lockdown we are thinking hard about how we might be able to reopen the salon once the government gives the go-ahead and sets out guidelines,” she says.
“It’s not going to be easy.
“Staff and customers will have to wear masks .. and I will probably only be able to have two, at most three, clients at a time.
“Will I be able to have a waiting area? I doubt it. And there’ll certainly be no coffees or teas for customers. And if people cannot wait then appointments will have to be properly staggered.
“When clients arrive they will also have to use hand sanitiser before they sit in the chair.”
Tulin who has three members of staff, currently furloughed, admits there is an awful lot to think about. She has been trying to buy protective equipment and hand gels but some products are hard to come by.
“We are buying disposable gloves and aprons. We will also need masks and gloves, although I don’t like cutting hair in gloves.
“I think we will only be able to wash one person’s hair at a time at the basins … and we will use disposable towels. Chairs and surfaces will have to be rubbed down with sanitiser before each new client.
“The most important thing is to protect everybody … keep everyone safe.”
Tulin is unsure how all this will work out. She is ready to try and run the salon for a while under whatever restrictions are needed.
Tulin expects hairdressing salons to be allowed to reopen in June and by then she should have been able to access some of the government support for small businesses.
After several weeks in lockdown Ladywell Live expects a lot of people will be clamouring for appiontments. The problem will be fitting them all in!
“After all this time it will be strange going back,” says Tulin. “I’ve almost forgotten about work!”
Oscar’s takes next step after successful home deliveries
For the last six weeks of lockdown Alina and Joel of Oscar’s have been doing their best to keep busy.
Since Oscar’s had to close its doors they have been delivering coffee and breakfasts to homes in the neighbourhood. And just two weeks ago they started a lunch delivery service.
Now they have decided to take the next step and are reopening the cafe from Friday May 8 for takeways and collection, initially for a few hours each day.
“We don’t know how things are going to develop over the summer but we feel confident this is a good step forward,” says Alina.
The cafe has been remodelled so that customers can order and collect coffees and pastries, with the confidence they can do so safely by maintaining an appropriate social distance.
“It’s important we take care of the team and our customers – that’s the priority. So our opening hours will be short and the space inside the cafe will look different.
“Our menu will be smaller… but we’re sure everybody will understand.”
Alina and Joel will continue with the deliveries for the time being. “We think families at home still appreciate home delivery.
“Perhaps if the weather’s good through the summer restrictions will be eased further.”
Oscar’s are offering coffee, pastries and orange juice as well as bread, eggs, milk and a few other basics to keep our customers “fully stocked.”⠀⠀
“If you’re on your way to work, shopping or just out for your daily walk then we’d love to see you,” says Alina.And they will carry on offering free coffee for all NHS workers.⠀⠀
Oscar’s will be open Monday to Friday from 8.00am until 11.00am ⠀At weekends and Bank Holidays it will be open from 9.00am until 2.00pm. @CafeOscar’s SE13