Sunday, August 2, 2020

112-year-old West Racine Shoe Repair closing

From The Journal

Eric Johnson

RACINE — For 50 years, Dave Franks has put his heart and soul into saving “soles” in Racine — shoe soles that is. But all good things come to an end. On Aug. 8, Franks and his wife Debbie will head into retirement as they turn the “Closed” sign for the final time at 112-year-old West Racine Shoe Repair, 1138 Hayes Ave.
The fourth and final owners of West Racine Shoe Repair, the Franks bought the business from Melvin Zeman as they rung in the New Year in 1988. Zeman bought the business in 1955 from 11-year owner Al Dickfoss. The clapboard-faced shop, originally a livery stable located further south on Hayes, was moved to its present site just north of Washington Avenue with founder Mr. Hilker’s 1908 establishment of West Racine Shoe Repair.
“There’s got to have been millions of pairs of shoes through the shop,” Dave marveled. “After 112 years, this place is almost an icon. It won’t be replaced easily.

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