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“We don’t want drunken people” – New barbershop sceptical but excited as Cheltenham Festival arrives in perfect time

New business owners Kieran Lusher and Lewis Phelps are sceptical, whilst excited as their new establishment, Lush Barbershop opened on Bath Road in Cheltenham, ahead of the Cheltenham Festival.

The pair have been friends ever since they started their barber journeys back in 2021, when they both joined well-known Gloucestershire barbers, Sweeney Tom’s. Fast forward to today and the two friends have nearly seven years of barber experience between them and have now decided to join forces and open their own premises together.

(Lush Barbershop – Instagram)

However, both Lusher and Phelps are wary of the rowdy nature that some punters can get themselves in during the Cheltenham Festival, which started earlier this week. “You do have to try and finish a bit earlier, as people are going to the bar getting drunk,” said Phelps. “That is one of the downsides,” added Lusher. “Especially being next to a couple of pubs here, we don’t want drunken people slamming on the windows, trying to come in when they are really drunk.”

The duo were delighted to open in time for the huge horse racing event and recognise the financial benefits it could bring. “It was a big deal to get it done before the races, because we knew that there would be a massive influx of people into Cheltenham and it would boost our early days of generating money. We therefore saw it as a bit of an opportunity to get it done beforehand,” said Lusher. “It was an opportunity to get it open as it’s a busy time of the year,” added Phelps. “Everyone loves the races, you get people from Ireland come over here and it means there are more people coming to Cheltenham than on a normal week, so to get it open before the races gives us more of an opportunity with higher demand and it allows us to get our name out there into Cheltenham and across the UK.”

Lusher and Phelps will pay particular close attention to the second day of the Festival, Style Wednesday, which was formerly known as Ladies Day. Punters, both men and women dress up extravagantly and take extra care on their appearance on this day, including hairstyle. “All of them want a trim before the big events,” said Phelps. “A lot of people go every single day, we get quite busy on the Monday and Tuesday, and pick up again on Thursday for the big day on the Friday,” he added.

The barbers will be busy all week applying their trade, but will have at least one eye on the events up at Prestbury Park. “There are a few names of horses that have been flying about in conversations, so I will be keeping an eye on it,” said Lusher. “Everyone knows its going to be a busy week and you know there is going to be a load of potential walk-in clients, so you know you are in for a busy one. When you think of the business and the money side of it, it’s all positive, so we just want to get through the week and smash as many haircuts as we can as it’s a positive thing.”

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