An attempt to forge a sweet ending for Angel’s Shoe Repair after 35 years at 15th and Republican has gone sour. Last week, CHS reported on the more than 100-year-old business losing its month-to-month lease as a new I-502 marijuana retailer was taking over the space. When we talked with Tok owner Sam Burke, there was still a chance he and Ray Angel could work out a deal to give the cobbler a part to play in the new marijuana shop.
But by Friday afternoon, the eviction notice went up — and the deal, apparently, was off.
Ben Livingston, who is working as Burke’s broker in acquiring a location for the business, said Burke offered Angel “a part-time job” with a five-year contract and that Angel was “pretty stoked about the job.” Burke also offered Angel
a $95,000 “goodwill payment,” Livingston said. “The only goal was to make him happy and not complain to the media,” Livingston said. UPDATE 6/3/2015 8:15 AM: Livingston provided a correction clarifying the offer he says was offered to Angel —
Mr. Burke offered a lump sum payment of $20,000 and five years of half-time employment at $15/hr ($15k per year times five years minimum guaranteed employment).
Livingston said there was an informal agreement between the men but that changed when lawyers got involved. According to Livingston, Angel wanted a guarantee of payment even if Tok never opened.
UPDATE 6/3/2015 5:00 PM: The lawyer representing Ray Angel tells CHS she refutes Livingston’s account of the negotiations. “It would have been nice if there were a $20,000 lump sum payment and/or a five-year guaranteed employment,” Cecilia Cordova of Pacific Alliance Law said. “The fact is, either one of those would have been a good deal, but neither was offered.”
“My understanding is different from what Mr. Livingston is purporting the terms of the agreement to be,” Cordova said.
Angel’s eviction date looms at the end of the month but Cordova declined to comment further on the situation at this time. Commercial eviction can be a lengthy process and there are avenues including bankruptcy court that can add even more time to the process.
Arlana Angel, Ray’s daughter who has been representing the business, said the Capitol Hill cobbler will be taking the next two weeks to complete orders and start moving out his century-old equipment. Ideally, Arlana said Angel will find a new home for his shop in the coming weeks.
“He got bullied out of his space,” she said. “It wouldn’t be easy for anyone, let alone someone who’s 67-years-old.”
Arlana said “a longtime customer and family friend” has created a donation page for supporting her dad’s move. $1,300 had been raised as of Tuesday afternoon.
Arlana also referred CHS to lawyers representing her father but they have not yet responded to our messages.
The family shoe repair business first opened in 1912 and has been on Capitol Hill for nearly 70 years.
Due to restrictions on where I-502 shops can be located, the area around 15th and Republican is in high demand. Entrepreneur and real estate investor Ian Eisenberg has confirmed with CHS his plans to convert the former veterinary clinic he purchased at 15th and Republican into a marijuana shop. CHS reported on the $1.5 million purchase in February as the CHS advertiser and Uncle Ike’s owner snatched the property out from under Burke.
Burke was initially trying to buy the building where the shoe repair business has been located, Livingston said. Ed Zhang — the official postmaster and business owner of the US Postal Service outlet next door to Angel’s in the building, told CHS he has two years left on his lease but has been notified by the building’s ownership that he will face a doubling of rents.
Livingston said Burke will take possession of the Angel’s Shoe Repair retail space starting July 1st.