PERRY — Josh Knapp says he’s thought about opening Jake’s Barbershop in Perry on Sundays.
Thanks to the state’s repeal this week of blue laws that prohibited New York barbers from cutting hair on Sundays, he and other barber shop owners will have that choice.
The owner and operator of Jake’s, 18 North Main St., said Thursday that he saw on Facebook a couple of days ago that the blue laws were no longer in effect.
“Somebody tagged me in a post online,” he said. “I guess at first, I was surprised to learn that it wasn’t already allowed ... on Sundays, that the state would restrict what days you were allowed to cut hair. I always wondered if it was one of those laws that they didn’t always enforce. What was the logic behind it? I was just confused on that, why they wouldn’t have allowed (that) per the state ...”
The antiquated blue laws, which were rarely enforced, remained on the state’s books until Tuesday, mandating a person cutting hair or providing a shave to another person on a Sunday be charged with a misdemeanor crime.
Violators could have faced $5 fines for their first offenses. A second offense could have led to a $25 fine and possibly 25 days in jail.
Jake’s Barbershop’s hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
“We were always closed on Sundays. Saturday is always our busiest day because of that,” Knapp said. “I can see Sundays being a very busy day for sure, because people are available, similar to a Saturday.”
Jake’s Barbershop has been there since the 1950s, Knapp said.
“The building’s been here since 1912 as a barbershop and my grandfather (Jake Jacuzzo) bought it in 1957,” he said.
No other barbershop owners Knapp’s talked to have said they heard about the old law.
“I feel like a lot of comments I was reading were that people were surprised. They were not aware,” he said.
There is also a New York state law against making money from cutting hair if you don’t have a license. The Department of State Division of Licensing Services lists a law which says, in part, “No person shall engage for compensation in the practice of barbering and no person shall maintain or operate a barber shop after October 1, 1947, or hold himself out as being able so to do after such date unless he is licensed therefore pursuant to this article. After such date no person shall act as an apprentice or perform any service as such unless he is registered pursuant to this article.”
The charge is a misdemeanor and a person who is convicted faces a maximum fine of $500 and/or no more than six months in prison. Knapp said he had heard about this law.
“Some of the laws are a little stiff ... I think a lot of them are older,” he said.
Now that the old law on Sunday haircuts and shaves by barbers has been repealed, Knapp said Jake’s may open on Sundays.
“I’ve entertained the idea of closing on Mondays and opening on Sunday. It would be something where ... I would definitely not be opposed to the idea of being open on a Sunday,” he said.
However, Knapp said that with a young family, he would not want to work there on a Sunday.
“Being open on Saturday already, I probably wouldn’t want to be working on Saturday and Sunday myself ... cutting into time with the kids,” he said.
There are two other people who work there besides him, Josh Knapp said. If he could find someone who is willing to work on Sundays, Jake’s might open then.
In Batavia, Canzoneri’s Barber Shop owner Joe Canzoneri was cutting hair Thursday afternoon. He also said he didn’t know there was a law banning haircuts and shaves by barbers on Sundays.
“I just kind of looked at it as ‘family day,’ ” he said of Sundays. “I didn’t know it was a law that (we) couldn’t cut hair on Sunday.”
The shop owner said in his 10-year career, everywhere he’s worked, the shop was closed on Sundays. Before opening the barber shop in Batavia, Canzoneri said, he was in West Seneca for about nine years.
“I opened up Canzoneri’s Barber Shop March 15 of last year right before the pandemic. It was not the most ideal time to open up a barber shop,” he admitted. “I was open for three days and on the 20th we were shut down.”
Canzoneri’s Barber Shop remains open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sundays.
“I won’t be changing anything in the foreseeable future. If all of a sudden there comes a high enough demand for it, I would consider it,” he said.
Canzoneri said other shop owners probably have a similar stance as him about Sundays.
“I have not heard anyone say anything was going to change. Sunday is a good rest day for us ... being on our feet all weeks. Sunday is a good day to relax after a long week ... be with the family, prepare for the next week,” he said.