- August 27, 2021
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For the Huszczo family of Mentor, barbering is more than just a trade — it’s in the blood.
The family recently took over the former Tony’s Mug & Brush Inc. barber shop located at 9853 Johnnycake Ridge Road in Concord Township, and renamed it Nicki’s Barber Shop, after third-generation barber and owner Nicki Huszczo.
Nicki cuts hair alongside her father, Johnny Huszczo, whose father also worked in a barber shop on Mentor Avenue. The former shop is now closed, but it left a lasting impression on Johnny and his wife Carrie Huszczo’s family.
“It was great,” said Toni Campbell, another daughter of the Huszczos, who has stepped into the role of finance manager for the newly rebranded shop.
“I mean, it was such a big part of our lives growing up,” Campbell added.
Johnny, a Vietnam veteran, attended barber school directly after high school before getting drafted for the war, where cutting hair was still an important part of his daily life.
“I got drafted in 1969 and was stationed in Vietnam for 14 months, and the army did not have any barbers,” he said. “So, they found out I was a barber by looking at my records, and then I got a job giving haircuts to four generals.”
Johnny explained that while he tried out some other career paths during his life, he never stayed away from barbering for very long. Eventually, he ended up at their current shop under its previous owners, where he has now cut hair for over 20 years.
The barber shop’s namesake, Nicki, joined the field in 2013 after graduating from barber school herself. She said that while she never envisioned following in her father and grandfather’s footsteps while growing up, after she returned to Ohio from living out of state, her father asked if it was something she might be interested in doing, and she took the opportunity.
“So when I was 30, that’s (barber school) what I did. It was fun, and now I get to work with my dad,” she said.
Nicki said that one of the highlights of working in a family-run barber shop are the many clients she sees that have been getting their hair cut by her family members for decades.
“I’ve had people sit in my chair that my grandpa gave haircuts to, my dad, and me. So that’s pretty cool,” she said. “And it’s more than just a handful of people, too.”
Nicki’s Barber Shop itself stays true to its roots with a nostalgic barber shop feel — complete with local memorabilia on the walls, along with photos of the several generations of Huszczo barbers at work.
The barbers explained they keep their haircuts pretty traditional as well, specializing in classic men’s and kid’s cuts.
“It’s old school — walk-in, cash only,” Nicki said. “We keep it simple, no appointments, just come in.”
To celebrate the family becoming small business owners and to help get the word out about the shift in ownership, the Huszczos are planning a two-day open house event Sept. 10-11. Carrie explained that they want to encourage people to stop in when they can, get to know the new owners and see what’s changed in the shop.
They plan to have some barbershop themed cookies and light refreshments, and will likely raffle off a free hair cut to a lucky winner.
In total, the barber shop has five barbers, including Nicki and Johnny, and is open every day except Sunday.
They are open for walk-ins from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays; 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays; and 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was edited at 2:20 p.m., Aug. 20, to correct the community that the shop is located.