Courtesy Van Michael Salon

If you want to get a haircut, Van Michael Salon and Peachtree Battle Barbershop are open today after Gov. Brian Kemp announced that some businesses could begin reopening on April 24. Hair salons, barbershops, nail shops, gyms, tattoo parlors, massage parlors, and bowling alleys were included on the governor’s list of businesses allowed to reopen Friday even as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Van Michael Salon, which has locations in Midtown and Buckhead, posted a lengthy set of rules for customers to follow on its Facebook page. Stylists will be working in shifts to limit the amount of staff and customers in the salons, masks will be worn, and there will be no blow-drying. “We ask for your patience and understanding during this time as we are working quickly and very diligently to be both accommodating and conscientious to your needs,” the Facebook post read.

At Peachtree Battle Barbershop in Buckhead, there was already a line forming at 7 a.m. this morning, according to a report in the AJC.

However, many of the businesses approved to open were taking a wait-and-see approach and did not reopen their doors today.

SalonV in Buckhead said in an email to its customers that it would wait until May 1 to open and when it did there would be strict social distancing rules, including having customers wait in their car, split shifts for staff, and not bringing children or anyone else to the salon unless they also have an appointment.

Adore Hair Studio in Inman Park is also waiting until May 1 to open, while Vivid Hair Salon in Morningside posted  on Facebook “we do not feel comfortable or safe and will NOT BE OPEN THIS FRIDAY.” Salon Modello in Old Fourth Ward posted that it was still figuring out how to safely re-open, while Vis A Vis Salon in Buckhead said it was also waiting until May 1 to reopen.

Jamie Weeks, owner of Orangetheory Fitness in Buckhead, said May 11 would be the earliest he would consider reopening the studio. “I have to respect the governor as much as I respect that waiter or waitress or bartender who doesn’t feel comfortable working,” said Weeks of his attempt to balance the economic and public-safety frameworks. “And so that’s why I’ve elected to kind of wait three weeks and go from there.”

The Comet Pub and Lanes in Decatur isn’t open today either. Via Facebook, the bowling alley said it disagrees with the governor’s decision to reopen.  “While we are quite eager to return to The Comet, we disagree with the governor that it is now safe to do so. We feel that it is too early in the progression of the pandemic to invite staff and guests to gather, socialize, and bowl together. We are continually monitoring the situation, and will base any decision to move towards opening on clear and consistent recommendations of the medical and public health experts in the field.”

Southern Star Tattoo posted a short, but succinct message on its Facebook page: “Sh-ts crazy, but we ain’t. Hope to see ya soon but NOT this Friday!” SparrowHawk tattoo and piercing in Old Fourth Ward also didn’t reopen today and told customers to stay tuned to its social media or watch for an email.

Gov. Kemp has come under heavy criticism – including President Donald Trump and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms – for his decision to open businesses so soon. Restaurant dining rooms, private social clubs, and movie theaters can reopen on April 27. On Thursday evening, the governor’s office released a set of safety guidelines for businesses called “Reviving a Healthy Georgia,” which can be read at this link.

John Ruch contributed to this article.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.