The Rev. Bob Wilhelm gets his hair cut by barber Bert Mills at the barbershop inside the Toledo Club. Mr. Mills operated a shop in the Spitzer Building downtown for 21 years, moving out last week.
Corrected story: Information has been changed about what customers the barber can have.
After 21 years of cutting hair inside downtown Toledo's Spitzer Building, barber Bert Mills is trying his hand at business in a new location.
Mr. Mills, owner of the Cutting Edge, closed the barber shop last week and moved into the members-only Toledo Club. He said the change presents an opportunity for him to serve new customers while keeping many others who belong to the private club. He began working at the club this week.
While preparing to move out of his shop last week, Mr. Mills, 60, said he will miss being in the Spitzer Building, which is half empty and in foreclosure. The ground-floor arcade of retail has tenants for all of its spaces except the one vacated by the Cutting Edge.
"Everybody's like family in the Spitzer Building," Mr. Mills said.
Jim Schimming, a part-time barber who has worked in Toledo since 1957 and shared space in Mr. Mills' shop, also will be at the Toledo Club.
Ron Pearson, general manager of the Toledo Club, asked Mr. Mills to become the club's new barber after its previous barber moved out this year.
He said the club, which has two barber's chairs, presented an "attractive" lease arrangement for Mr. Mills, but did not provide details.
"He is just highly regarded amongst a number of members," he said of why the club sought out Mr. Mills' services.
The Toledo Club barbershop is open to club members and former customers of Mr. Mills, Mr. Pearson said.
Defense attorney Merle Dech, one of the last customers at Mr. Mills' shop on Friday, said he has been visiting the Cutting Edge for 21 years. He planned to continue going to Mr. Mills for cuts at the Toledo Club.
"I came here when I was a law clerk," Mr. Dech said. "He's the best."
Mr. Mills' move leaves two barbers in downtown Toledo: SeaGate Barber Shop in the concourse at Fifth Third at One SeaGate, which is run by barber Tony Crampton, and Nick's Barber Shop in the Nasby Building, operated by barber Nick Haddad.