Charlie’s Shoe Repair in Rye is one of those “secret” shops in Westchester. The hole-in-the-wall storefront looks like a throw-back to the villages of yester year, but the service and craftsmanship is top-notch, making it an insider favorite among locals.
I was made privvy to Charlie’s Shoe Repair by my friend, Brooke, who was born and bred in Westchester, and currently lives in Rye. She described Charlie as a gentle soul who is a one-man act and takes great pride in his work.
Upon bringing Charlie a pair of shoes, he takes time to explain exactly what he will do (offering full disclosure if he thinks its not worth the money) and let’s you choose the color of the sole. Reasonably priced, a trademark of his work is the beveled edge that he does on new thin rubber soles, blending them so well with the original sole it’s difficult to see the edge.
Brooke’s first stop after buying a new pair of shoes is Charlie’s Repair Shop for a protective sole and small metal tap at the front. (A must for the sliver soles of Jimmy Choo’s!) He even gets it right perfecting the unique upturned toe feature of designers like Roger Vivier and YSL, and only takes about a week for repair.
I popped in to see Charlie last week. He was modest and uninterested in having his picture taken. He doesn’t have a phone, or a website. He is an old-fashioned cobbler (He will only do minor stitch repairs on handbags!) and a true gem.
Charlie’s Shoe Repair, 34 Purchase Street; Rye. No phone.