• 54°

Brookhaven Barbershop is moving out

Brookhaven Barbershop is moving out of its longtime home on South Whitworth at the end of the month, but the scissors will continue to snip at a new location.

Shop owner Jill Case said the building’s owner gave her until March 31 to vacate the building to make way for a different business. The barbershop has been in the same location since the 1950s, and Case is currently searching for a new place to set up shop. She said she wants to remain downtown, where the barbershop has always been.

“I was here when there wasn’t anything downtown. All the buildings down there were boarded up,” Case said.

The business boasts a long history that extends well beyond Case’s ownership. She said the building was a café in the 1940s before becoming a barbershop in the 1950s.

Case got her professional start at Brookhaven Barbershop in 1996 — right out of barber school — working for then-owner Charolette Nichols. After a year of on-the-job training, she and Nichols struck an unexpected bargain.

Case bought the shop April 1, 1997, and Nichols spent several subsequent years teaching her the ins and outs of entrepreneurship.

“Working together, we built the business back up,” Case said.

She was only 21 years old when she succeeded Nichols. At the time, the barbershop saw less than 10 customers per day. Case said her team now serves around 150 clients each week.

Her 21st anniversary on Whitworth Avenue is less than a month away, but Case hasn’t had time to celebrate. She’s busy hunting for a new storefront.

She hopes to stay downtown, and she said she’s currently considering a space on West Cherokee Street. But nothing is set in stone.

That being said, Case is determined Brookhaven Barbershop will remain an integral part of the local business community. And, even though her future is relatively unsettled, she’s ready to roll with the punches.

No matter where it ends up, she said the shop would continue to offer quality cuts and shaves on a first-come, first-serve basis.

As she reflects on her time at 201 South Whitworth Ave., Case is proud of the service she has rendered, and she looks forward to many years more of business in Brookhaven.

“I love my customers, and I’ve always been willing to bend over backwards for them,” she said.