ST. PETERSBURG — Co'Chiese Sanders came up with the idea: a mobile barber shop and hair salon in a tricked-out RV. Mark Ferguson, owner of Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill, came up with the name: a beer and a buzz.
Anyone who gets a haircut when Sanders' mobile salon is stationed at Ferg's parking lot on Friday and Saturday gets a free beer.
Sanders has been setting up shop at Ferg's, 1320 Central Ave., two days a week since March. He's offering a summer deal — $8 for a haircut including a beer. The mobile barber shop also makes the rounds to World of Beer at 100 Fourth St. S and Eckerd College.
He pulls into Ferg's at 6 a.m. on Fridays so officers at the nearby St. Petersburg Police Department can stop in before or after work. Giaunna Palumbo also works in the van, cutting and styling ladies' hair.
Sanders, who completed a three-year prison sentence for a drug offense in 2010, came out with a plan and new direction.
"I decided to turn my life around. I got into cosmetology and got my barber's license," he said. He became a master barber at Artistic Nails & Beauty Academy in Tampa.
Sanders also plays bass with his two brothers in the five-piece Bus Stop Band, which performs regularly at Mako's in Largo, Frenchy's in Clearwater and Ferg's.
"He knew me from playing in the band and came by and said, 'I got something to show you,' " Ferguson recalled recently. He was impressed with the mobile salon and Sanders' determination and agreed to let him park it at the sports bar regularly.
"I think it's a good idea. But it's not as easy as just parking it there and people show up," Ferguson said. "It's got to be in a place for a long time to get business over and over again."
Customers trickle in but business is often slow. Sanders said he is determined to keep at it and build a clientele. Ferguson is a regular.
"He does a good job, even though I don't have too much hair to cut," he said laughing.