The buzzing sound of clippers fills a small barbershop tucked away at Salon Plaza off Galleria Blvd. in Charlotte. Owners Alicia Phillips, who goes by Brown, and Sakinah Dunlap are all smiles and laughter behind their masks. These two women know how to make you feel at home.
For months, in response to Gov. Roy Cooper’s decree for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, all the bars and private clubs in the state have been closed. In the last decade, there had already been a noticeable decline in the number of LGBTQ establishments nationwide, and this public health crisis only adds to the pressure these businesses face.