Local barber, musician works to get back on his feet after the pandemic

Eve McFarland, Staff Writer

Johnny Angel, a barber and a musician, came to New Orleans 20 years ago. He felt things were going great for him, until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 

Well COVID affected the city and not just me. When we had to close up for two months, it put a big dent in the financials of course,” Angel said.

He said the pandemic made him remember something very important his father told him.

“My dad always said, ‘Save, save money for a rainy day. You never know when it’s going to come when you’re going to need it.’ And that rainy day came,” he said. 

He said this rainy day was not planning to leave anytime soon. During this time, Angel had to leave New Orleans. When he came back, he said his landlord gave him something he would have never expected.

“He gave me an envelope and I looked at the envelope and I said, ‘it could it be a kickback some money he’s going to give back to me.’ I opened it up, it was a letter with a 60-day order to vacate,” Angel said. “I’m thinking well, I thought I was your best tenant,” he said.

Angel said his landlord quintupled his rent, forcing him to leave.

“That’s a big casualty of New Orleans, and I guess a lot of parts of the country,” he said. “COVID really did a number on a lot of people. Closing businesses was not a good idea I don’t think, but here we are. We are still here. ”