Belle Harbor Barber Bounces Back After Sandy
A Queens business that was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Sandy is slowly but surely getting back to normal. NY1's Ruschell Boone has the story.
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With every chair filled and a steady stream of customers coming in Mr. Giuseppe's Barbershop is looking a lot like it did before Hurricane Sandy.
"It is the first time we've had a normal after school rush of kids and it's actually very nice," owner Frank Giambra said.
In November, Giambra had just reopened after cleaning up the place and saving his father's barber chairs. The salt water had left them rusted and corroded.
But it was one slow night after the other. Many thought the business his father started nearly 50 years ago was in jeopardy, but things are shaping up for the better.
"We're about 50 percent overall, but we are slowly getting back to normal," Giambra said. "It's nice to see children back in the neighborhood."
"This is my first time back. First haircut after the storm, a woman on the block buzzed us. Buzzed about 20 guys on my front porch to get the dirt out of hair," one recently returned patron said. "We had no hot showers, so you could see by the mop on my head when I first walked in I needed one. So it's good to be back. Good to see Frank's back in business here."
For many of Giambra's customers, getting a haircut means that they, too, are getting back to business and life as usual.
"I had bigger things to worry about -- electricity, hot water, food," one customer said. "Once you get those things under control you get back to the little things."
Many of Giambra's employees say it wasn't easy to get the shop -- or the salon Giambra owns next door -- up and running again.
"It took days and weeks, but we are here," employee Elliot Khaimov said.
And they say it feels great to see business coming back.