SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - It's a small step, but a welcome one for many barbers and hairstylists in San Francisco.
It's a barber collective setting up shop in SoMa StrEat Food Park, a venue for food truck vendors.
It solves two problems at once.
The stylists need space to cut hair outdoors.
With tech workers at home, there've been fewer customers eating at the food trucks.
Now, an unusual partnership has formed because of this.
Parking spaces for food trucks have been transformed into stations set up to accommodate barbers.
They're renting space at this venue normally reserved for food truck vendors.
"It felt good to run clippers through hair, to see hair on the ground. Us as barbers, we always have a saying hair on the ground is money in the pocket. We're excited to get back to that," says Tim Avalos.
The barber says it's the first time since the shutdown that he's clipping hair.
He will be joined by dozens of other barbers in this outdoor space when the collective officially opens Wednesday.
"We're ready to take the proper precautions and get back to work. We feel like we're one of the cleanest industries," says Kam Frugoli, "That's all of our training. It's about disinfection and sanitation."
On Tuesday morning, barbers, hairstylists, and other personal care services providers protested at City Hall. They say San Francisco should join other counties and allow them to operate indoors.
"I'm lucky I had some money saved up or I don't know what I would do," says Rito Arellano, a barber who participated in the protest.
Many barbers and hairstylists say they do not have space at their shops to offer outdoor services so this food truck park gives them that option, a way to make a living.
"It's a little frustrating," says Taylor Gallanter. She had just opened her salon for two months when she was forced to shut down, "We probably lost about 60 percent of our clientele that have been crossing county lines to get their services as we were the first to close and the last to reopen."
"This is a nice shaded structure. It opens up on all four walls," says Carlos Muela as he showed off a structure that would allow barbers to work while complying with safety guidelines.
The owner of StrEat Food Park says his venue has been under-utilized so partnering with barbers and stylists makes sense.
"We have this huge resource, 20,000 square foot outdoor space with restrooms utilities, electricity, power, everything to set up a nice safe place," says Muela.
"A shop is where it's at, but this ultimately can turn into something where this may be the new place to come and get haircuts," says Avalos.
The Barber Collective is scheduled to be opened 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Muela hopes to add manicure and pedicure services as early as next week.