Beer And Wine In The Beauty Salon?

By Paul Liberatore
The Marin Independent Journal, Novato, Calif.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Should beer and wine be allowed inside salons? While businesses have been serving for years, in California, it is illegal. A new bill would legalize this unspoken industry tradition. However, not everyone is on board. Recent protests included folks carrying signs like “Alcohol belongs in saloons, not salons,” “No buzzed cuts,” “Cut my hair not my liver” and “Blow dry and DUI.”

The Marin Independent Journal, Novato, Calif.

When entrepreneur Ed Lasseter opened his hip new men’s hair salon in San Rafael in May, he made sure it had all the necessary supplies — shampoos, towel warmers, blow dryers, a keg of beer.

One of the “upscale men’s services” at his 18/8 Fine Men’s Salon — a local franchise that’s part of a national chain — is a complimentary glass of tap beer for customers to sip while they’re being snipped.

“Serving alcohol is part of our business model, either on tap or in bottles,” Lasseter said. “It’s to improve the atmosphere and make the customer feel a little special.”

Although it’s been a longstanding custom for beauty salons and barbershops to serve free glasses of wine or beer to their customers, it’s technically against the law without a license from the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

A controversial new bill — AB 1322 — would legalize this unspoken industry tradition. With strong support from 18/8 Fine Men’s Salons and from Drybar, a national chain of trendy blow-dry salons, the measure, aka the Drybar bill, sailed through the California Legislature and is now waiting for Gov. Jerry Brown to veto it or sign it into law.

San Rafael-based Alcohol Justice, formerly the Marin Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems, has been active and vocal in its opposition, urging the governor to say no to barbershop booze.

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