'Barbhop' looks to give the community a safe, creative outlet amidst the pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Bringing the arts back to life.

Because of the pandemic, many artists haven't had a creative outlet, but a brand new event called Barbhop in Downtown Fresno is looking to change that.

The event is a spinoff of Art Hop, which was held in downtown, but has only been held virtually since March of 2020.

In hopes of giving creators a place to showcase their craft, Brandon Knight, the owner and creator of Barb's Drive-in, decided to create Barbhop.

Currently, he runs a drive-in style movie theater in a large parking lot on the corner of Broadway Plaza and Fresno Street, right by the Historic Crest Theater.

Now he's getting ready to launch Barbhop, which will feature music artists, vendors and food trucks.

"People need to get out of the house. We've just been cooped up. It can be lonely when you're at home, quarantined alone, away from friends, away from family." Knight said. "We just have local talented people that have just been itching to just get out of the house and perform."

The first event is being held Thursday, March 4, 2021 and will feature a list of artists, including hometown rapper Fashawn, vendors and food trucks.

"This gives folks the perfect opportunity to be able to walk up, get some meals from Barbs, or any other mobile food - permitted - mobile food facility. They have to be permitted. " Daniel Betancur said.

Betancur worked for the Fresno County Public Health Department for two decades. He's now a consultant that helps food trucks meet health and safety rules.

"There's a lot of the population that deals with depression and this gives them a chance to get out and about, get some fresh air." Betancur said.

Organizers say the event is mainly drive-in style, but there will be some standing room for walk-ins.

They say masks and social distancing are mandatory to ensure everyone is safe. They will also have hand sanitizer at all vendor booths.

Knight just hopes this will give people a chance to get out of the house, experience downtown and enjoy themselves safely.

"We just want to provide spaces for people to come and provide space for people to share love with each other and that's really what Barb's represents, it's a community space." Knight said.

There are 200 spaces for vehicles for the event. To reserve your spot, click here.
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