Man closes shoe repair shop after 60 years
NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - After 60 years a beloved business on the Upper East Side is closing its doors. James Fucile Shoe Repair has been a fixture on Lexington Avenue for decades.
But at 83, the owner says it's time to go. James Fucile has polished and reheeled pumps and loafers on a block between 82nd and 83rd streets for decades. He prides himself as much on his craftsmanship as his relationship wiht customers.
At the age of 15, Fucile started shined shoes in Manhattan before apprenticing for a cobbler in Midtown.
"I saw the whole world coming through that shop, the whole world," Fucile says.
As an infantryman in Korea, he became the seventh of his brothers to fight for this country and when he returned in 1957, he opened a business across the street from his current shop.
He is closing the store for the final time on Saturday. He's selling it to move to Las Vegas. He leaves behind machines that still work despite being manufactured in the 1920s.
"I thank God that he made me a shoemaker," Fucile says.