Snohomish barbershop reopens in defiance of governor’s order

SNOHOMISH, Wash. — Lines of customers formed this weekend outside Stag Barber and Styling in Snohomish after the shop’s owner reopened in defiance of Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order that was recently extended until the end of May.

KIRO 7 spoke with customers who crossed county lines and waited hours to get a haircut at the longtime Snohomish County business while others were forced to take a number and return the next day in what owner Bob Martin called an overwhelming show of support.

“I stand by that because it’s our constitutional right to do what we’re doing and maintain a livelihood,” said Martin, who told KIRO 7 on Sunday that more than 135 people had gotten their hair cut at his shop over the weekend. “They don’t have the authority to take that away from us.”

Barbershops fall under phase two of Gov. Inslee’s newly-announced, four-phased approach to reopening Washington’s economy. Right now, the state is just beginning phase one and said there will be a minimum of three weeks between each phase.

“More people need to go back to work and stand up to the government,” said Martin.

Martin, who said money was only one motivator in defying the governor’s shutdown order, told us he was emboldened by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s decision not to enforce the COVID-19 restrictions that gave him the “green light” to reopen.

“They’ve gone way too far already,” said Martin. “We’re not going to let it happen.”

Gov. Inslee has said his stay-at-home restrictions have helped slow the spread of the coronavirus in Washington and did not provide specifics, when asked by reporters last week, on how the state would handle businesses that jump the gun and reopen early.

Gov. Inslee’s office provided KIRO 7 with the following statement.

“Over the weekend the state received 140 complaints from residents about this business. It has been referred to the Department of Licensing, which will be reviewing the complaints for action including contact with the business and further enforcement as necessary.”