Texas salon owner defies coronavirus restrictions, risks losing license

Dallas' Salon A la Mode staying open is the 'only fair thing to do,' owner Shelley Luther says

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Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther is risking her business license by reopening Salon A la Mode, while state coronavirus restrictions are still in effect.

Luther told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto, upon her reopening Friday, she was served a cease-and-desist from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins but defied the order by remaining open. Luther proceeded to publicly rip the order in half the following day.

Now Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is reportedly threatening to confiscate her business license. Luther said she learned of the warning while watching the news.

“I don't think he has the authority to do that,” she said. “I actually think what he's doing and what [Judge] Clay Jenkins is doing is criminal."

Gov. Abbott's office did not respond to FOX Business' request for comment.

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Luther believes it’s “ridiculous” that businesses like barbershops and salons are still unable to reopen since sanitation procedures are routinely practiced and inspected.

Salon owner Shelley Luther holds a citation and speaks with a Dallas police officer after she was cited for reopening her Salon A la Mode in Dallas, Friday, April 24, 2020. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

“We have more sanitation practice than most places of business and we're inspected and we have to get it renewed every two years,” she said. “So it's ridiculous that someone can go into a Walmart and they feel that that's safer than someone coming to get their hair cut with both of them wearing a mask at the same time.”

Salon a La Mode is operating under “perfect” social distancing measures, Luther said, with work stations spaced six feet apart and customers being asked to wait outside.

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But Luther said the salon is down to only two stylists and one nail tech, as her other employees have been “scared” into not going to work after having their licenses threatened as well.

Luther said she’s also applied for government loans and unemployment benefits but has yet to receive any aid.

Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, salon owner Shelley Luther wears a mask as she talks in her just reopened Salon A la Mode in Dallas, Friday, April 24, 2020. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

“There are salons and businesses across the nation that are opening because we decided to take a stand,” she said. “And all they're doing is saying, ‘you know, it's my right to open and it's my right to feed my family.’ What else are they gonna do? If they take my business license, I'm going to lose it anyway. So I think the only fair thing that we can do is go to work.”

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With other businesses following suit, Luther said she's concerned about spreading the virus further but she can only worry about the well-being of her salon right now.

Luther said Dallas authorities sent to check on the salon have been “very gracious” and agree she is not committing any criminal offenses.