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‘Save Our Angel’ — Community fundraiser started as Angel’s Shoe Repair evicted to make way for new pot shop

The Save Our Angel! Gofundme Page (Image: @solv17 via Twitter)

The Save Our Angel! Gofundme Page (Image: @solv17 via Twitter)

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.

The eviction notice went up Friday -- enlarge

The eviction notice went up Friday — enlarge

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.

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26 thoughts on “‘Save Our Angel’ — Community fundraiser started as Angel’s Shoe Repair evicted to make way for new pot shop

    • Really? I wouldn’t mind being pushed with a 95k gift and a 5 year part-time employment contract at age 67.

      How much $$ does Angel typically make per year with the family shoe biz, and how much longer would an older fellow be able to work that job? I don’t know, but the offer seems like it might have been reasonable.

      • sounds pretty reasonable to me too…now what does he get? Nothing. “Nothing” would’ve been the worst case if the pot store didn’t open anyway. And, he could’ve always found a new location anyway if he didn’t like the job.

      • Regarding Burke’s offer of a part-time job for Ray, and a $95,000 “goodwill” payment, I would say this is usually referred to as “hush money.”

      • Seems that they wanted Ray to leave without much of anything in hand and would only get compensation for vacating if they got their license and the shop opened. Has this guy ever had a shop? Does he even have a license yet?

      • He wasn’t offered $95,000. He’s not being offered anything at this point as it turns out even the $20k offer was false. It’s hard to find a new spot for his business in this neighborhood, the way rents are skyrocketing these days! I recommend stopping by and hearing his side of the story before you judge.

      • That explains why it seemed weird to pass up a $95k offer, which did sound pretty dang good, I’d say. Too bad it was untrue.

  1. Some people think what is happening in this neighborhood is “progress”. I don’t like the idea that a 67 year old with a long-standing independent business was bullied out of his space. He was always very nice and helpful to me. I will never give business to this pot store and I hope they go down in flames, pun intended.

  2. Based on the eviction letter, seems that Angel’s was on month to month, which is usually a risky for the tenant after the x years in the lease have expire – extra % on rent and terminate with short notice. I wonder why he didn’t sign a new lease with this possibility looming.

    Do we really need two pot stores on the same block?

    • If the market can’t support 2 pot shops on the same block then it won’t last.

      Same as with the 2 grocery stores, 2 pizza joints, 2 Thai restaurants within 20 feet of each other, multiple bakeries, bars, hair salons, 15 thousand coffee shops, etc.

      Based on how many customers Uncle Ike’s gets? These shops will get a lot of action.

  3. Trying again even though I suspect this will be removed as was my last post.

    Anyone interested in helping celebrate this century-old business before it disappears by throwing a block party for Angel please contact me at partyforangels@gmail.


  4. Sam Burke never offered Ray Angel $95,000 nor a $20,000 lump sum. In the same vein, Ian Eisenberg (Uncle Ike) is telling people that he offered Dr. Boudreaux a 6-12 month lease extension at the veterinary clinic which is a flat out lie. She was given 30 days to get out period. Neighborhood goodwill means nothing to these guys except at the cash register so I don’t know why they are going to the trouble of trying to portray themselves as “decent” people.

    • Realitycheck I think you need a reality check. Of course I would have let the vet stay longer. She was unresponsive and didn’t seem interested. Why would I want an empty vacant building?

      • Ike

        You’re a flat out liar. Many people were involved with Dr. Boudreaux during her painful 30 day eviction period (after 30 years).

        We saw the 30 day notice that she got from you. Several clients tried to help her find a new location for the clinic but unfortunately, she wasn’t given enough time to do that.

        It’s your fault that you’re the proud new owner of an empty building. Apparently Sam Burke is a douche too but it looks like he won this round.

        You had better check to see if your pants are on fire.

      • Seeing as how you are an anonymous poster it is impossible for me to know what you knew or did not know. That’s what I get for bothering to reply to your post. The Dr was not communicative so yes I went through the unlawful detainer process. That’s how the real world works.

      • “Uncle Ike”
        There was never an offer for extension so probably Dr. Boudreaux found it difficult to respond to NOTHING. LIke I said check your pants.

  5. Oh and by the way Ray Angel was not “stoked” about anything regarding Sam Burke’s plans. Ben Livingston is just another liar. I wonder how much he’s making on these deals?

  6. Suffice it to say I will tell my friends who would be in the market about the ahem, opportunities these owners of the shops capitalized on. They’ll shop elsewhere. That’s the free market too-word of mouth is a powerful tool. Cheers.

  7. hello my name is is sophie smith. i probably don’t have the right website. i’m trying to find a website that would help me. with raising money for me to move since i’m been evicted