– Richard Thiemer Retires After Almost 50 Years As Barber
By Anne Trautner Rick Thompson celebrated his birthday on September 29 by getting his hair cut at Richard Thiemer’s barbershop, called Richard’s Kut and Style. It was the end of an era. After cutting hair at that location for the past 46 years, Richard Thiemer was retiring.
For nearly five decades, Thiemer had cut hair for multiple family generations of area families. He now has finished his last haircut. Most of Thiemer’s customers were from Kewaskum, Campbellsport and West Bend, but he had some from Belgium, Slinger and Beechwood.
Some regular customers came from as far away as Milwaukee and Cambridge to get their hair clipped. “I’m going to miss it. It’s not just haircut customers, it’s friends and family, you get to really know them,” Thiemer said.Thiemer started his business as part of Thiemer’s Sip ‘n Snip, a bar and barbershop located on Highway 45, just north of Kewaskum.
For the past six years, Vinny and KC Egle have rented the bar area to run the Curve In Bar. Last month, the Egles purchased the entire building and are currently renovating the space to expand the bar area and create a cathedral ceiling. The Curve In is staying open during the renovation, which is expected to be completed in early 2019.
KC Egle has been familiar with Thiemer’s business for most of her life. When she was 5 years old, Thiemer cut KC’s bangs there. “When they came here to purchase the property, their kids right away started jumping into a pile of leaves. It reminded me of myself when I first came here as a child. And my children and my grandchildren.
It’s a cycle, and we are really happy about that,” Thiemer said. Thiemer’s Sip ‘n Snip Thiemer was born in 1949 in Milwaukee, where he lived with his family as a young child. His father worked for West Bend Electric. “My dad was quite a fisherman and hunter,” Thiemer said.
“Then he wanted to get out of Milwaukee, so he bought a little hobby farm on Highway H.” When Thiemer’s father first saw the bar located on Highway 45 in 1954, he thought it looked pretty nice.
When he found out the bar, which at that time was called Spanny’s, was for sale, he decided to buy it. He went home and told his wife they had just bought a bar. “We did what?” she asked. Thiemer’s mother was less than thrilled. Their new property had an outhouse, and she much preferred indoor plumbing. There was no built-in heating, either.
The family used space heaters to warm the bar area and the front room. When she went to open the tavern during the winter months, Thiemer’s mother had to break the ice off the rinse tanks. So the Thiemers put some work into the place.
They put in a well and indoor bathrooms, and converted the crawl space into a basement. The Thiemer family got to know and love their customers. When the bar first opened, many of the regulars were campers or people who had frequented the bar when it belonged to Spanny Pete. “Spanny was Greek, so we had a lot of Greek customers who would come up on Sundays and have their Greek food up there on the grills.
For many years they did that. My dad was pretty close with them,” Thiemer said. Even Thiemer’s mother started to really begin to like the business. “At first my mom said no dice to the tavern, but then she started to like it. She liked talking with people. She ended up really loving it,” Thiemer said.
Barber Business When Thiemer was about 6 years old, his father told him, “You are going to be a barber.” At that time, Thiemer’s father did not want his son to follow in his footsteps and become an electrician. “You don’t want to have to work out in the bad weather when it is hot, cold, rainy or sleety. You don’t need that,” Thiemer’s father said. “You should be a barber. Then you’ve got heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer.
And you can do four haircuts in an hour,” Thiemer’s father advised. Unknowing to his father, the problem is that it takes years to build up a business, Thiemer pointed out years later. R e g a r d l e s s , Thiemer’s father had a dream. He wanted to add a barbershop to his bar and call the family business Thiemer’s Sip and Snip.
So Thiemer took his father’s advice. He attended Milwaukee Technical College in 1968. He graduated in 1969, the same year he married his wife, Mary. Thiemer then worked for different barbers in Kewaskum, Allenton, West Bend and Newburg before starting his own business. In 1972, Thiemer’s father’s dream became a reality, and Thiemer’s Sip and Snip was in business.
Serving The Community Thiemer’s Sip and Snip became well known in the area. It even became a regular place for many families to go after church on Sundays, Thiemer said. “We played ball on the lawn out front and we would play Hide and Seek and Kick the Can. It was a family thing,” Thiemer said. The property boasted a baseball field, which became known as the Thiemer Dome.
Several leagues played at the Thiemer Dome. Over the years, there was a Pony league, a Sunday league and an Over-40 league, Thiemer said. “Because everybody was getting older, it was never a problem getting someone to come out of the game because they pulled a muscle. After 40 everything starts to go,” Thiemer said knowingly.
Thiemer became involved with other things in the community as well. He joined the Jaycees and served the community in a variety of ways through that. He also joined the Kettle Moraine Klassic Kar Klub (KKKK), serving as president for five years. Each year the organization holds a car show to benefit a different charity.
Thiemer also gained some recognition after winning a couple trophies from Markham, which sells hair care products. The Future Thiemer plans to enjoy his retirement spending time with his wife, Mary. He also plans to spend time working on cars. “I have two collector cars in the garage, so I am going to fix my car shed into a man cave,” Thiemer said.
One of the cars is a Pontiac GTO, similar to one he bought in 1968 when he first met Mary. “I bought it the day her sister passed away, So it made it a special thing,” Thiemer said. “Of course, this one doesn’t have a black vinyl roof like my old one did. But this one has air conditioning.
I’m getting older, so I like the air.” Thiemer and his wife plan to spend some time in Florida during the winter, but they will also enjoy the sights in Wisconsin. “My dad always watched the birds, and I said when I get that old, put me away.
Well here I am watching birds, watching the blue heron that comes through here and the green heron and the ducks and the geese. It is just something else. It’s beautiful,” Thiemer said. And Thiemer will continue remembering his customers, his friends.
Over the years, he cut five generations of the Westerman family, four generations of Schmidts, four generations of Schaefers, four generations of Coulters and four generations of Petermans. “I have heard many stories,” Thiemer said. And anyone who has met Thiemer knows he has told lots of stories also. “I am going to miss it,” Thiemer said.