Laboring for customers
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Sep 03, 2012 | 3276 views | 2 2 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Open for business on Labor Day
Adam Masana checks out his reflection in the mirror as hair stylist Lynda Nguyen cuts his hair on Monday at When In Rome Salon.
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While most people are out enjoying barbecues and family fun on Labor Day, a couple of downtown business owners decided to open their doors for customer convenience Monday, Sept. 3.

“I wish everyone was open on holidays,” said Elizabeth Adjei, owner of Betecals boutique, 31 W. 10th St., which was among a few shops and restaurants open on Monday.

“Look at downtown, its dead,” she said. “I don’t always expect sales, but it’s OK to open. Customers know you care about them. You’ve got to stay open on holidays … (it’s the) only way to keep downtown alive.”

Adjei, who opened from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., said she had a steady flow of customers through the early part of the day.

Among her customers was caterer Arlene Escote, who came in to drop off some food for Adjei to sample. Escote said she didn’t plan on shopping, but ended up purchasing a handbag and shoes.

“Most of the businesses are closed,” Escote said. “I’m a shopaholic. I like clothes, dresses and jewelry. She’s (Adjei) a hardworking woman.”

Also open on Monday was hair stylist Lynda Nguyen at When in Rome Salon, 849 Central Avenue. Working independently, she said opening on Labor Day was better than sitting at home.

“I’ve got nothing to do,” she said. “Stay at home is boring, and gas is expensive. My customers are happy. People work and they don’t have time. Tomorrow they go back to work.”

Opened from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nguyen said she already had four customers when her fifth walked through the front door, 7-year-old Adam Masana, accompanied by his father, Ariel Masana, and his younger brother.

Masana said the fact that Nguyen was open on a holiday made it more convenient for his family.

“We’ve been going to her for the last 10 years,” he said. “I knew she’d be open. She’s open seven days a week.”

Two hair stylists at Rumors, 118 W. 10th St., also opened their doors on Monday to accommodate special customers.

“Customers come first, barbecues second,” said stylist Haley Twitchell, who was accompanied by fellow stylist Alicia Gonzales.

“Me and Alicia decided to take clients today, but a lot of girls decided to take the day off,” Twitchell said. “I definitely work Labor Day and Memorial Day. For a lot of people, it’s an easy day to get to the salon.”

Twitchell said among her special customers on Monday was 9-year-old Bean Pageant Princess Liahna Costilla. The girl was all smiles as she sat in the salon chair while Twitchell styled her hair for a pageant photo session later in the day.

“It was nice they were open,” said Liahna’s mother, Paula.

Other downtown businesses who opened their doors for a few hours on Monday included Mi Esperanza Market and Great Plate Bar & Grill on Central Avenue and Mira Bella Salon and Subway on 10th Street.

• Contact Denise E. Rizzo at 830-4225 or

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September 04, 2012
On Labor Day I refuse to leave the house except to put charcoal on the grill and return when the meat is grilled.
September 04, 2012
Thank god for Elizabeth...if it wasn't for her where would down town be? I don't know how our business keeps our doors open without elizabeth keeping people coming downtown and keeping the foot traffic thriving here downtown. Just for the record...businesses were closed cuz IT'S FRIGGIN' LABOR DAY WEEKEND!!! You know...the holiday where AMERICA takes off to celebrate all THE HARD WORK we do as Americans! It's tuesday now and guess what...every parking spot is filled on 10th street and Gillette Alley. Wow go figure on a WORKING non holiday...I think all these people are down here to "get their hair did" and not to do business. Thanks to elizabeth lol

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