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Local barbershop relocating after 61 years of business

Local Business

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Skyline Barbershop owners Jazmyn Somerville and Mitchell Gibson are moving next to Smitty’s in Idaho Falls Nov. 5. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS – Customers of Skyline Barbershop in Idaho Falls will soon have a new location to get a trim.

The 61-year-old business is moving from its current location at 1572 West Broadway and reopening at 675 West Broadway inside the old Illusions Styling Studio.

Owner Mitchell Gibson tells EastIdahoNews.com he’s planning to open Nov. 5.

“Providing everything goes smooth and nothing catastrophic happens. But I’m pretty sure we’ll make it,” Gibson says.

Renovations are currently underway. He’s considering having an official grand opening next spring when the weather warms up.

At 1,900-square-feet, the new location is more than six times the size of the current space. Gibson says they were looking to expand last year, but plans fell through when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The owners of the building approached Gibson with an offer when Illusions closed down about a month ago.

“I was recommended to (them) as someone who would take over the space and do something decent with it. We have a reputation of being a pretty busy shop,” says Gibson. “It ended up being an opportunity (we) couldn’t say no to, so we just decided to jump on it and make it happen.”

Other aspects of the building that are appealing to Gibson include the high amount of traffic in the area and all the equipment needed to run a barbershop was already in place.

“It’s close to the river. We’re right in the middle of a bunch of hotels. Smitty’s (next door) does some pretty serious volume — pretty high traffic space. There’s tons of (traffic) in that whole strip,” he says. “Back bars and stations are already in there. They’ve got wash sinks included, which we’ve been wanting to do.”

Renovations are currently underway at the new Skyline Barbershop | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

Skyline is a full-service barbershop offering haircuts, beard services and straight razor shaves. New customers are coming in all the time, Gibson says, but there are at least 200 returning customers since Gibson bought the business in 2016.

Herb and Georgia Shurtliff first opened the business in 1959. Gibson started working there in June of 2015 after graduating from barber school. He purchased it from Emily Christopher in Feb. of 2016.

“(Emily) called me up one day and said that her husband got a job in North Carolina and that they were moving. She said ‘You’ve got to take it over or I’m getting rid of it,'” Gibson says. “I bought it out of necessity to keep a job.”

But it’s more than just a job for Gibson. He loves interacting with customers and watching people’s mood change after getting a good haircut.

“People get stoked when they leave. They come in feeling kind of shaggy, but you’re able to flip someone’s mood 180 degrees, and that’s pretty sweet,” he says.

Gibson says the amount of customers they were serving on a daily basis took a big dip at the height of the pandemic and the duration of appointments increased.

General foot traffic has been a lot slower as well, he says.

“I’m not sure if people are nervous about being in such close proximity to other people, but it’s hit us pretty hard,” says Gibson. “It’s given everything a weird feel. Everybody is a lot more cautious.”

Though Skyline Barbershop has been a staple on the west side of town for many years, co-owner Jazmyn Somerville says she’s excited for this transition and to be able to offer something new for customers.

Skyline Barbershop’s hours of operation will not change at the new location. It is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday with a 1 p.m. closing time on Saturday.

Somerville cutting a customer’s hair. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com
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