Hairy to stay.
A Williamsburg barber has reopened in defiance of the state’s coronavirus lockdown – and is vowing to keep on clipping despite being hit with tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Ilya Iskhakov, owner of Beard Barberia Cut & Shave, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order has drowned his business in debt – and with nearby shops in Long Island and Westchester reopening, he missed opportunities for suburban stylists.
“Not going to risk another three months not working when Westchester and Long Island are reopening 10 miles away,” Iskhakov told The Post.
“It’s just unfair the way New York City is handled and it’s really upsetting because a lot of people have lost their businesses, lost jobs and lots of kids eat,” Iskhakov added.
The first barber reopened his business briefly last month, after he was paid $ 500 by activists behind the group “Liberate America.”
The city promptly summoned Iskhakov and he closed once again until Monday, after he heard barbershops just outside the city would be reopening this week.
Salons cannot open until Phase 2 of Gov. Cuomo’s staged reopening plan. The Hudson Valley and Long Island entered that second phase this week while New York City is likely to reach that benchmark until at least late June.
Claiming his business is the only open barbershop in Williamsburg, Iskhakov has seen a “very high demand” in his first few days back in operation. He and two other barbers are working inside, taking customers’ temperatures before they enter while also requiring all patrons to wait outside at a safe social distance.
Iskhakov was in the middle of an interview with The Post Thursday with a line of outside customers when officials from the Mayor de Blasio’s office busted the shop again and issued his business a second summons for operating under lockdown.
Iskhakov now faces $ 12,500 in fines from both summonses, with a court date set for Aug. 20.
“It’s not worried,” he said of his forthcoming court appearance. “It’s going to say how it is. The mayor just makes laws. ”
When asked if he would remain open, Iskhakov said he withdrew and ran.
“Stay open!” he said. “I have two tickets. What am I going to do? You’re going to keep going at this point. What, are they going to take my license? We don’t see that. “
“If you take my license then take my life away,” he added.