It’s a sanctuary for guys… and apparently that’s illegal.
Barbiere is a traditional men’s style barbershop just south of Pittsburgh that offers clients a distinctly macho vibe, but its owner is now facing a fine from the state for not also offering services to women.
With a “man-cave” decor, complimentary beer and cocktails, and services such as straight razor shaves, owner John Interval said he was surprised when he was suddenly fined $750 for recently refusing to cut a woman’s hair, according to CBS Pittsburg.
“I didn’t really consider it so much a discrimination thing as – it’s a barbershop… for guys,” Interval said.
When a woman recently came into his shop looking for a haircut, Interval said he turned her away because he didn’t think a “gentleman’s barbershop” was the best fit for her needs. He says he suggested a couple of nearby shops that might be better suited for her, and even offered to pay for her haircut someplace else.
But apparently that wasn’t enough. She filed a complaint with the state’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, which subsequently imposed the fine on Barbiere for gender discrimination.
Interval said he doesn’t have anything against catering to women, and even has plans to open another shop focused specifically on female clientele.
“You know, I’m not opposed to doing women’s hair,” he said. “Just not in this shop. I don’t even have [the equipment] to do women’s hair. I want to open a shop to cater to them and no men will be allowed there. They’ll have all the champagne and mimosas they want, and that’ll be on the house.”
But in Pennsylvania, he’s apparently required to keep the shop open to anyone who comes through the door.
Still, Interval isn’t expecting a sudden upswing of female customers.
“[I] come here, talk sports, guy talk. A great place to get away after a hard day’s work, get a haircut and have a beer,” said client Robert Craig of the distinctly men’s focused shop.
Barbiere might still be a great “guy’s place” south of Pittsburgh, but in order to stay in compliance with the law, it looks like Interval will have to start offering straight razor shaves and cold beers to women as well.