Miami barbershop opens up after two months with big debts, big crowd outside

Ricardo Rondo, a bearded Cuban dad of one son, is the owner of Ricky’s Barbershop at 10002 W Flagler. The place has been quiet for months, but yesterday the clippers were humming as four barbers plied their trade for the first time in what seemed like forever. 

Following orders by state and county officials, barbershops, restaurants, and more began operating with dozens of conditions governing how they did things.  

“I was pretty much living off the little savings I had these past two months,” Rondo said. “The toughest part of the first day back was to keep all the rules and regulations. 

To many of his friends and co-workers, Rondo is known as Ricky. He started the shop in 2011 after arriving from Cuba. Like many who left the island, he sought to improve his life and escape an oppressive regime.

Along with many local businesses that reopened in Miami-Dade and Broward counties yesterday, Rondo began working under a whole new set of rules. Patrons had to wait outside in their cars and were expected to first make appointments over the phone before entering the shop to prevent the spread of the virus.

 “People are coming back after two months for much-needed trims,” said Rondon, who wore a surgical mask, a face shield and gloves. He, Juan Carlos Alvarez, Ricardo Rondon, Oscar Napoles, and Edy Rosa, who call themselves “los hermanos” all took precautions as they cut clients’ hair.

Rondon at work. Photo courtesy of Ricardo Rondon)

“There were some pretty hairy people throughout the day,” Rondon said. “Imagine- for two months we were closed and with people staying at home there was much more hair to be cut.” 

He mentioned that all workers earned more than their usual. “Each one of us made today around $200,” he said.”On a typical day we each make around $100 to $150.”

“This was a lot even on a good day.”

Everything seemed to be going well for Rondon. Then his landlord showed up to remind him that he owed around $5,000 for the two months the store was not open.

“This really was a disappointment,” Rondon said. “Where exactly does he want us to get it?” 

Rondon and the others worked hard all day. Most of those who waited to get their hair cut stayed in their cars. Though county rules require patrons to make appointments, several just showed up. He explained that they had to stay outside. 

“Nobody complained, thankfully,” he said.

Rondon plans to work hard and pay off all the debts he’s amassed in the last couple of months. Ricky’s Barbershop is ready to cut.

Jordan Coll is from Miami and is currently majoring in journalism with a minor in philosophy. He enjoys reading and meeting new people from all walks of life. His deeply embedded passions are  music, photography, travel and keeping up with current events.