Have you ever sidled into Larchmont Shoe Service clutching that favorite pair of heels needing healing, and wondered – what IS going on in this place? Not only is the place a warren of nooks and crannies filled to the gills with every conceivable type of footwear, but the front of the store is hung heavy with large-scale oil paintings, tattered suitcases cover the floor, and shoes for any fetish are here and there and everywhere.
The other day I snuck behind the elusive cobblers curtain at 415 N. Larchmont to take a look. It was like stepping into another world – vintage, and crazed, and artistic, and yes…cozy. Our local shoemaker, George Assling, has been on the Boulevard for 37 years bringing the shine back to our leathers and new rubber to our heals. With a droopy tam on his head and leather tool bag around his neck, you’d swear the guy is straight out of an Italian village but nope… he’s from New Jersey.
So what did I learn? George paints on Sundays, and no, the paintings are not for sale.
Three quarters of his business is on women’s shoes.
The vintage Singer in the back still works and is used daily.
He really does know where everything is.
The Larchmont Shoe Service shop is a piece of art in itself. He puts the soul in sole.