“No, we haven’t talked about that,” Ray Angel tells CHS in response to our jackass-level question about whether his about to re-open 105-year-old Seattle shoe repair business is planning any, um, joint promotions with new landlord Uncle Ike’s.
Growing accustom to dumb pot jokes will only be part of the changes the Angel’s Shoe Repair cobbler will face when his shop in the overhauled building at 15th and Republican opens soon.
“It’s really a great thing he’s done for me,” Angel said about Ian Eisenberg’s offer to lease a small portion of the building where he is building the new Capitol Hill pot shop. Angel said he will have his own entrance and will be fully separated from the high security retail cannabis operation. He’ll have a little less space than his old location on E Republican but will fill the shop with his old machines and cobbler gear.
Angel says he expects to be open by the end of the month. Neighbor Ike’s hasn’t announced its planned opening date yet. Angel says the party will start early, however, when the 15th Ave E Merchants group holds its annual Sidewalk Fest on Sunday. They can also celebrate a decade for Liberty, expansion for Teriyaki Madness, and landmark status for the Gaslight Inn.
There is also one bit of sadness we can finally confirm. Eisenberg confirmed word on the street for a while now that Full Tilt will no longer be part of the plans at the new pot shop.
For Angel and Angel’s Shoe Repair, the new address is part of decades of cobbler work in Seattle. In 2012, Angel’s marked 100 years in the city. “I like working with my hands,” Angel told us back then. “Working with criminals for a bit after I graduated, I realized how hard they were to get along with. My customers though, they’ve always been great, and make the job so rewarding for me. The people are wonderful, and I’ve never really gotten a bad check—people who take care of their shoes tend to be good, reliable people.”
Angel’s latest odyssey began as the captains of Seattle’s I-502 pot industry shuffled about in a retail space grab around 15th and Republican, the only location on Capitol Hill where the combination of various rules and restrictions seemed not to prohibit retail cannabis. Eisenberg purchased the Capitol Hill Animal Clinic building and set off a series of events that ended with an Uncle Ike’s destined for 15th and Republican, competitor Ruckus taking over the old shop space where Angel worked, and the old cobbler business without a home. “When I went to the 15th Avenue merchant meeting, I said I wanted to be a good neighbor,” Eisenberg told CHS last summer. “I followed the trials and tribulations at Angel’s. I have the extra space.”
Whether an opportunity to show up his competitors at Ruckus, Eisenberg, a longtime CHS advertiser, being truly magnanimous, or some combination of it all, Angel’s has found yet another way to stay in business in the city.