Bill's Key & Lock Shop has been in business since 1976, all of those years in Uptown Normal. Our humble beginning landed us in the basement of the Janet Hayslip Dance Studio at 110 E. Beaufort St.
When Janet (Bill's wife) decided to expand her business, they bought the building at 115 E. Beaufort St. and opened The Dancer's Answer, a dancewear store popular in the 1980's. The lockshop was then moved to the back end of that building, with a hallway giving it street access. This move provided us with a garage bay where we could work on automotive locks.
Business grew and we hired our first employee. The dancewear store couldn't outlive the fad and soon closed. The space was then rented to Subway, a fledgling franchise at the time. Subway needed all the storefront space they could get, so the hallway connecting Bill's Key and Lock Shop to the street was cut off and our years with only back-door alley acess began. This is the store many of our veteran customers remember.
After one small remodel at that site, it became evident that we had outgrown the location and we began to keep our eyes open for vacant Uptown buildings. The former Schnebley's Garage was top on our list for a while, but fears of ground contamination steered us clear of that location. The former Culligan's Water Softening building became available and we jumped at the opportunity.
In December 2001 we opened our satellite location in downtown Bloomington, in the space formerly occupied by Danny's Key & Lock. This tiny shop at 402 1/2 N. Main St. was quickly outgrown, and in 2008 we moved next door to 402 N. Main St., a prominent corner location with ample space for stock. We provided the same friendly, knowledgeable, and fast service in our Bloomington shop for many years. The Bloomington shop was closed in April 2018 to consolidate it, along with the Uptown Normal shop, into a single larger location opening in May 2018.
We operate the largest retail locksmith shop in Bloomington-Normal and offer the widest ranges of hours. Specialties at our shops include hard-to-find key blanks, repair parts for all locks antique to modern, safes, padlocks, key acessories, and while-you-wait service and sales of locks and keys.
Our shop is decorated with local antiques, bottles, old toys, antique padlocks, and wooden wall phones. We have five fully equipped mobile vans for out-of-shop service calls to your house or business. We are proud to be a longtime local business serving the Bloomington-Normal area.