Food & Drink

California Salons Could Legally Give Out Free Wine and Beer Soon

Nothing takes the edge off of getting a new haircut like a glass of Champagne, and blowouts only get better with a nice Pinot Noir. That’s why higher-end salons across the country have gotten in the habit of offering customers a glass of something with an ABV. Now, however a legal battle is heating up in the California Legislature that threatens this highly civilized arrangement.

Last year, in a victory for all things good and decent, the California Assembly unanimously passed AB 1322, officially allowing salons to provide free drinks to of-age customers. But the bill (known as the DryBAR bill thanks to the high-end salon leading the charge), is now receiving pushback from various groups on the grounds of public health and safety.

Most notably, alcohol watchdog group Alcohol Justice is pushing California governor Jerry Brown to veto the bill, arguing that it will raise the price of salon services and “dangerously allow the serving of alcohol by unlicensed businesses with no effective enforcement or regulations.”

As Eater points out, this bill would serve as a first step in regulating an already widespread practice, while limiting the maximum amount of alcohol served to each customer (six ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer).

Alcohol Justice is also convinced that, if passed, the bill would lead to an increase in “alcohol-related harm” throughout the state’s 4,200-plus salons, going so far as to evoke studies in its “Action Alert” that link alcohol to breast cancer and to include commentary from a 15-year-old in a press release: "A lot of kids come to barbershops and salons and this bill will allow easy access and it's a bad example."

In our experience, wine and beer aren’t self-serve in salons and minor’s access is at best a minor issue.

Here’s hoping DryBAR prevails in this glorious struggle. We don’t want to live in a world with rosé-free bang trims.