WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — Ask any client at Barbiere in Washington County and he’ll tell you the upscale gentleman’s barbershop offers more than just your typical haircut.
From the rugged décor to the macho atmosphere, it’s a place where guys can unwind with a complimentary cocktail or enjoy a cold beer.
“[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.
Now, the business is at the center of a heated debate after owner John Interval was fined $750 for refusing to cut a woman’s hair.
She filed an action with the state’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.
That agency imposed the fine for gender discrimination after a state investigator visited the business and interviewed Interval.
“I didn’t really consider it so much a discrimination thing as – it’s a barbershop… for guys,” Interval said.
Interval says he wasn’t aware he was legally compelled to service both men and women. But he plans on paying the fine because he respects the law.
He does not expect an upswing in female customers.
“You know, I’m not opposed to doing women’s hair,” he explained. “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.”