Brentwood shops and salons welcome back happy customers as lockdown eases
- Credit: Sally Patterson
Brentwood’s high street was buzzing as happy customers finally had their hair cut, nails polished and shopping bags filled after months at home.
Non-essential shops, beauticians and outdoor hospitality venues were allowed to reopen safely on April 12, in line with the government’s roadmap for easing coronavirus restrictions.
Barbers Bar Bar.co was packed as staff and customers alike celebrated being reunited.
Manager Ali Kamel said: “It’s going really well, we’re really busy.
“It feels good to be back.”
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Wrapped in a stripy cape and sporting a new fade, regular customer Andy Webber was also feeling good.
He said: “It has been such a long time being locked away without having my haircut.
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“I had to apologise when I came in because my hair was so bad, like a parachute on the top of my head.
“It’s brilliant to be back and have that human contact again.”
Up the road on Brentwood High Street, clients at aesthetics salon Cosmessex were also eager to return.
Receptionist Donna Waller said: “People booked in their appointments for lip filler and teeth whitening months ago.
“They’ve been booking their spots throughout lockdown, so we’ve got lots to do today.”
Emma Pavitt, who has been a shop assistant for 10 years at fashion outlet Virgo, was pleased to be busy again.
She explained: “It’s nice to get back to work and feel like you’re doing something with your day.
“It has been great to catch up with our customers again.”
Some of her regulars were even lined up outside the shop waiting for her to open in the morning.
At toy shop Piccola, there had been a steady flow of customers throughout the morning and shop assistant Jenna Coombes was pleased to have people back in the store.
She said: “Everyone’s happy to be able to browse again, and they can finally return or exchange their Christmas gifts.”
Turkish Kitchen was anticipating lots of hungry customers after a day spent shopping.
Manager Catarina Dragan said: “We really hope people will come here this evening, but we’re worried about the weather.”
The restaurant is looking forward to when customers can sit inside, which is predicted to be at the end of May.