An Edmonton Police Services logo is shown at a news conference in Edmonton on Octr 2, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

An Edmonton Police Services logo is shown at a news conference in Edmonton on Octr 2, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

‘We did it out of desperation’: Edmonton salon owner apologizes for renting space to partiers amid pandemic

Police broke up a party of around 125 people Sunday at Khrome Beauty Lounge

An Edmonton business owner is apologizing for renting out her nail salon for a large weekend party despite COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Police said they broke up a large gathering of at least 125 people who were partying with large amounts of alcohol and a DJ at the Khrome Beauty Lounge early Sunday.

Alberta public-health measures meant to contain the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 ban all indoor social gatherings.

Farida Hussaini, co-owner of the southeast salon, which is also licensed to sell cocktail drinks, said it was rented to a group of 15 people who wanted to celebrate a birthday.

She said the business opened about six months ago and has been struggling.

“I know that we’re not the only small business suffering. There’s a lot of small businesses suffering,” Hussaini said Tuesday.

“But what provoked us to do this is the fact that it’s just been a tough year on us financially. It has been really hard. We did it out of desperation and we apologize.”

Police said they are working with Alberta Health Services and the City of Edmonton to decide the next steps in the investigation. Health and city officials did not say Tuesday whether the salon would be fined.

Hussaini declined to say who she rented the salon to and at what price. But she did say it wasn’t the first time during the pandemic that it’s been used for a gathering.

The weekend before, she said, the salon was rented to another 15 people for a party.

“Everybody was wearing masks, social distancing was in place, everything was OK,” Hussaini said.

Hussaini said her business partner has blamed the gathering on her, and they are now in a legal dispute.

“We haven’t been getting along lately. It has been hard. We’re at a point where we don’t know how we’re going to survive, how we’re going to pay our rent.”

She also said the salon and its employees have been receiving a flood of hateful messages, including death threats since news broke about the weekend party.

“Two of them were death threats telling us to die and that they’re going to come and find us and kill us. The publicity from this has been so bad and it has just tarnished our image,” Hussaini said.

“Google reviews have been skyrocketing with just one star from people. I do get it, I know we’ve upset a lot of people, but I hope people understand that we were struggling and I think we became selfish.”

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that the province has seen its first case of the B.1.617 variant. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears record number of active COVID-19 cases

Alberta reports 1,857 new cases of COVID-19, 1,326 new variants

File Photo
Nominations for Sylvan Lake municipal election now open

Those looking to run for mayor or council can fill out and submit nomination forms now

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta passes bill to give all workers paid leave to get COVID-19 vaccine shot

Labour Minister Jason Copping says Bill 71 will reduce barriers for Alberta workers to get vaccinated

Alberta completed 18,412 COVID-19 tests, as reported on Wednesday, for a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Highest daily count of 2021 so far: Alberta reports 1,699 COVID-19 cases

Variants now make up 59 per cent of Alberta’s active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Alberta bill would protect health workers, care homes from some COVID-19 lawsuits

The bill proposes exempting a range of workers, including doctors, pharmacists and care-home operators, from being sued over COVID-19 unless it was for gross negligence

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange was in Red Deer on Friday to provide an update on the province's COVID-19 response in schools.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Alberta government aiming to boost financial literacy among students

Government providing grants to organizations who will help design financial literacy programming

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

sign
Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

Most Read