Sun. Nov 29th, 2020

San Jose police officers showed up Friday at a San Jose hair salon where the owner boldly told NBC Bay Area he would keep operating indoors despite a public health order requiring him to close. 

The Santa Clara County Public Health department allowed outdoor service starting this week but nothing inside. 

James Griffiths, owner of Salon Blu said he’s been operating nonstop since the pandemic began. 

“I’m not intimidated at all by any of these enforcement measures,” he said. 

But when police and a state inspector showed up, he backed down.

“I’ve asked my stylists to strictly work outdoors because I do want to be in compliance,” he said. “But, we’ll see how it goes.”

Griffiths opened for outdoor business and said other salons also operate illegally, just more discreetly. 

“It’s better than going and doing it in someone’s garage where they don’t sanitize, or some backstreet operation,” said Mark, Salon Blu customer.

Griffiths says he’s gotten public support because of his candor, even if it also attracted police. 

“They’re reacting to the news story from yesterday,but it’s been incredible. I’ve had an overwhelming number of supportive emails, text messages, phone calls, from strangers just calling to cheer us on,” he said.

Griffiths admits he’s gotten some negative, even angry messages as well. But the state inspector issued an official warning Friday so public reaction might not mean much if he gets caught again.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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