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Santa Barbara nail salon moves outdoors onto State Street

SB Nail Bar
Blake DeVine/KEYT
SB Nail Bar is offering manicures and pedicures in front of their storefront on State Street.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — As businesses continue to adapt to the outdoor-only guidelines impacting several industries, SB Nail Bar is adjusting to new operations.

Just a few weeks ago, the nail salon setup on the sidewalk in order to remain open and comply with county guidelines.

Each day, these nail technicians have been hard at work giving manicures and pedicures in front of their storefront on State Street.

"It's not like we really planned ahead,” SB Nail Bar manger Quan Nguyen said. “At first we just moved a couple of chairs and tables outside, then more people came in."

Taking over ownership of the business in December, Nguyen and his wife Ivy have already been forced to closedown twice in less than eight months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Governor Gavin Newsom ordered additional business closures on July 13th, SB Nail Bar was forced to adapt yet again.

"Lot of financial burden and we had to keep it open,” Nguyen said. “Our employees need some income to support their families.”

Taking their services to the street has attracted numerous tourists walking around. 

Many of these visitors hadn’t their nails worked in many months.

"It's kind of surreal, it's really such a different experience and so beautiful,” Orange County native Lynn Esola said. “Everybody is out strolling around having a good time."

“We've been doing it on our own for a while now, so it's a treat,” Napa County resident Josette Reid said. 

SB Nail Bar has experienced so many walk-in appointments with its new outdoor setup that additional tents were needed.

"Lot of people came in so we had to get a second one,” Nguyen said. “Then we had to get a third one not long afterwards.”

While services such as waxing or eyebrow extensions aren’t permitted outdoors by the State of California’s Board of Barbering & Cosmetology, the nail brow is offering customers an unforgettable outing.

"They say it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience because nobody has ever done this outside,” Nguyen said.

"I wish that some places down in Orange County would do this,” Esola concluded. “I might have to come back to Santa Barbara in two weeks to get my nails done again."

SB Nail Bar moves its equipment, tables and tents on and off State Street each day. 

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist and sports anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Blake, click here.


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