Antonino salon in Birmingham unveils reopening plan amid COVID-19 pandemic

Big changes underway

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – The question isn’t what’s changing at your local salon, but what isn’t.

Anthony Marsalese, owner of Antonino, is redesigning his entire salon. Usually you’d see 19 stylists working at a time. He’s cutting the density down to nine at a time and staggering shifts and extending hours.

There will be no more waiting area. You’ll be texted when you can come in by the salon concierge and then given a temperature check and asked some basic health questions. Then you’ll be shown to your stylists chair.

“They’ll have everything they need for your service there,” Marsalese said. He’s not only cutting down density but also trying to limit traffic within the salon. The shampoo area will have staggered seating and is a quiet zone because when getting shampooed someone is standing over you and you’re more vulnerable.

The cleanup protocol is next level, including the powerful air filters and fogging the salon each evening with a virus killing agent.

“To make it really safe and stop the spread of the virus you have to take it to the next level and that has been very expensive,” he said.

It’s a work flow shift but also a culture shift.

“Every client I do hugs me before they leave, I’ve been doing this for forty years, they’re like family.”

For now and the foreseeable future there will be no hugging.

“I think my goal is if I create the safest environment possible then people when they come in, will relax a little bit, and feel the warmth -- even if they can’t see the smile behind the mask.”

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