Time to pick up your shoes. After decades on 7th St. between 1st and 2nd Avenues, David's Shoe Store and Repair is closing. The owner says the rent has gone up too high, and he is forced to move out of the neighborhood. He'll be in business in the East Village until next week, and expects his last day to be Friday, May 31.
In 2008, we heard rumors that the old cobbler would be closing due to doubled rent. But then David's grandson, also named David, renovated the place and reopened in 2009. He continued his grandfather's tradition, and kept the window just the same, with its hand-painted red sign and its Cat's Paw ad that probably dates back to World War II, if not earlier.
The space has held a cobbler's shop for a long time. Certainly half a century. Before David's, it was A. Brym Shoe Repairing--also Ukrainian and the likely source of the Cat's Paw girl. There she is, with her kittens, in the old photos.
photo: Edmund V. Gillon, Jr.
Whatever is coming next to this space, we can bet it won't be a cobbler shop. They've been getting run out of town. And while it's good to know David will still be in business elsewhere, the soles of the East Village will suffer.
As for the Cat's Paw girl, she'll likely just be scraped away.
photo: Michael Sean Edwards, 1980
Cobblers of Brooklyn
A. Fontana Shoe Repair