Barbershop Booze

By Evan Johnson - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A freshman lawmaker from Lafourche Parish is mixing up some controversy in the House with a recent bill he filed. Representative Jerry Gisclair is sponsoring a bill that would allow salons, spas, and barbershops to obtain a permit to serve alcoholic drinks free of charge to their customers.

Infinite Designs is one of the many barbershops in the Lake Area.  Customers there think serving alcohol at barbering or cosmetology establishments is a bad idea.

Bryan Griffin says, "The whole concept would have to be thoroughly thought out because in certain atmospheres alcohol doesn't mix."

Ricky Fontenot says, "That's not good for the business and then it's not good for the barber. How would you like for someone to cut your hair and he's slightly intoxicated.  I don't think it would be a good thing."

Barber Cody Joseph says, "You don't want people to come in your shop and start drinking and start getting rowdy and they leave and start confusions or people leave and get into wrecks."

According to the legislation, the business owner would be able to provide a customer with no more than two 5-ounce glasses of wine, one 12-ounce glass of beer, or one drink with no more than two ounces of hard liquor, but for some people, the alcohol limit makes no difference.

Customer Darrell Brown says, "I wouldn't bring my kids anywhere where they're serving alcohol, not for a haircut.  This is a business.  This isn't to get drunk, this is a barbershop."

Serving alcohol is something Infinite Designs owner, Michael Francis, says he will not do.

Francis says, "If you want to have a family-oriented business with kids and moms being able to bring their sons in and older people coming in then you don't need to have liquor around them."

Gisclair says it's been a long practice at upscale boutiques to offer a client a mixed drink or glass of wine along with their service, but state officials are concerned some establishments may be taking advantage of the age-old practice.