Longtime Oakwood business closes as owner searches for next step

Schurman’s Barber Service, 2533 Far Hills Avenue in Oakwood, shut down at the end of the day last Friday. The business was a staple in the community and apparently is closing due to a landlord/tenant dispute.

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After a lease agreement with the building’s new owner, Washington Twp.-based Miami Valley Commercial Group, could not be reached, shop owner Steve Toller decided to shutter the business for good, Toller said.

“Sorry we had to close unexpectedly, our lease ran out and the new price was unacceptable,” Toller announced in a message to his longtime customers. “We are looking for a place to set-up a new shop and that will take some time. In the meantime, I am looking for a chair to rent to get into and start cutting some hair again. Bear with us we are working as quick as we can to get something resolved. Check back later and hopefully I will have a place set-up by then.”

Barber Myra Williams has been cutting hair for 38 years, and has a long history of working at Schurman’s. She says she was surprised that the business closed its doors.

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“I really have never seen anything like this happen before,” she said. “Steve called me last week and said he was closing the business and had packed all of my stuff up. I met him in the parking lot of Meijer and he handed me my stuff and said, ‘good luck.’”

Williams has been part of the shop’s history as she was cutting hair in the establishment shortly after Paul Shurman bought it in the early 1970s from Chet Guenther, who ran Guenther’s barbershop, a family business that had operated for more than 20 years. Tony Toller bought the business in the late 1980s from Shurman and later sold it to his son, Steve.

A large 50th anniversary celebration was held in 2008 to recognize the small business’ accomplishments.

“You really don’t see a lot of these mom and pop type shops survive anymore,” Williams said. “Schurmans was the only barbershop in Oakwood and it is sad to see it closed, but all of the chains seem to be taking over. There was a time at Schurman’s that we had almost six barbers working.”

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She said she has found work cutting hair at AJ’s Barbershop, 5543 Far Hills Avenue. That has kept some of her longtime customers happy.

“I’m not sure that I was included in any future plans for Schurman’s if they do reopen, but I was fortunate to be able to get some hours at A’J’s,” she said. “I was working 40 hours plus a week at Schurman’s but now just a few hours a week, but am thankful for that.”

A representative from the Kettering-Moraine-Oakwood Chamber of Commerce said “it was the first I’ve heard of it,” regarding Schurman’s closing.

This news organization attempted to contact Heather Murphy-Zahora, the vice president of the Miami Valley Commercial Group, seeking additional information regarding the closing of Schurman’s. The message for a comment was not returned.

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