Shops, hairdressers, pub gardens and gyms reopen today

Lilybeth King in her store, Lily King, in Walm Lane. Picture: Caitlin Mogridge

Lilybeth King in her store, Lily King, in Walm Lane. Picture: Caitlin Mogridge - Credit: Archant

High-street traders in Brent are pleading with the community to shop local when they reopen today.

Non-essential shops and outside hospitality reopen as part of the government's coronavirus lockdown easing roadmap.

Lilybeth King, 29, owner of Lily King in Queen’s Parade, said lockdown has been tough but the business has kept afloat thanks to the “support of our lovely customers”.

She said: "I'm excited to reopen and catch up with our wonderful local customers again.

“We've been manically decorating and cleaning all week and have been receiving loads of new deliveries of lovely new stock – we're all ready!

“The pandemic has highlighted how much we need our thriving high streets. They really are the heart of the community and it's so important we keep spreading the shop local message.”

Hourieh Rafizadeh, 38, the owner of Chic Salon and Clinic on Walm Lane in Willesden, is also looking forward to today. “It will be nice to go back to normal.

“We lost money from being closed for such a long time. We have had to ring all our clients to try to bring them back. I’ve had some bookings but I am not fully booked like I’ve heard other places are.”

Sergej Guzke, 32, an employee at Papagayo Café in High Road, Willesden, said business was very quiet during lockdown. They stayed open for takeaways to keep regular customers coming, and have received bookings for their terrace next week.

He said: “We are putting more tables outside for the terrace and we have renovated and painted the garden,” he said. “We also have a new menu with a new starter section of finger food.”

John Paraskevas, 67, who runs Paraskevas Haircutters in Park Parade, Harlesden, said he is completely booked out and has been inundated with phone calls.

“For the first ten days after April 12, I haven’t got any space. I’m going to be starting earlier and finishing later to accommodate clients," he said.

Paraskevas in Park Parade, Harlesden (Pic credit: Brent Council)

Paraskevas in Park Parade, Harlesden (Pic credit: Brent Council) - Credit: Archant

Lola Ojewale, 61, director of Hair Control salon in Craven Park Road, Harlesden, is “excited” to reopen today. “We’ve had so many bookings,” she said.

Lola expects people will be “glad to come back” after having to cut their hair at home. “I have missed meeting my clients. I love what I do,” she said.

Hamid Reaidi, owner of Reaidi Unisex Salon in Willesden High Road, said lockdown was “stressful” due to having nothing to do.

“I hope we haven't lost any customers. I have a few bookings and I think it'll be very busy for the next few weeks,” he said.

His priority is keeping people safe, adding: “A lot of my clients are older and need reassurance."

Are you shopping today or reopening your business? Email or call 07557 748037 and let me know how it went.