Bidding farewell to some favorite mom and pops

| July 28, 2016 | 1 Comment
VILLAGE FOOTWEAR was a local favorite.

VILLAGE FOOTWEAR was a local favorite.

After working at Village Footwear for the past 19 years, Wendy pretty much knows everyone’s shoe size and foot issue.

“I’m the ‘shoe whisperer,'” said the store manager, who asked not to use her last name.

Customers came from far and wide over the years to find the perfect shoe; one lady brought her friend in from Korea to buy a pair just like hers.

Others live in the neighborhood; some walked to the store.

Rents were doubled by the Arba Group property management company, and online shopping further helped shutter the doors. Everything was on sale until closing day, expected at the end of July.

People came in droves the last days. “People are crying, ‘where are they going to buy their shoes that are comfortable, supportive and look good?’” Wendy said, adding that the store’s been “like a family to me.”

SHOE WHISPERER and store manager Wendy.

SHOE WHISPERER and Village Footwear store manager Wendy.

Hailing from San Francisco, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse is planned to move into Village Footwear’s place at 248 N. Larchmont.

There’s more comings and goings among shops and eateries on Larchmont Blvd.

Welcoming newcomers

Bluemercury cosmetics and beauty supply company will take over the former Jamba Juice space in the heart of Larchmont Village at 158 N. Larchmont. The Washington, D.C.-based company with 60 stores was acquired by Macy’s last year.

Also set to open this month is Sweetfin Poke at 135 N. Larchmont, where Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf poured beverages for decades. It’s the third location (others are in Topanga and Santa Monica) for the popular sushi restaurant. Its ahi bowls’ origins date back to a Hawaiian fisherman’s snack, said co-founder Seth Cohen.

Boutique sneaker store Blends Larchmont opened at 141 N. Larchmont last month. Its the sixth store for owners Tak Kato and Mike Toe, who blend international tastes with global level products, according to the website.

Leaving the street is Sage Lifestyle jewelry and candle boutique at 128 ½ N. Larchmont.

Musically speaking

Villagers can expect to see musicians of all ages this fall when Rhodes School of Music moves from its longtime spot in the 600 north block to 215 N. Larchmont above the Burger Lounge.

The music school will have more practice rooms, better soundproofing and other beneficial features, says owner David Rhodes.

To the north and Larchmont-adjacent, is Au Courant Clothing is at 5555 Melrose Ave. The new store promotes “fashion made fair.” The store’s website explains that how its clothes are made is as important as looking good.

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  1. Jane Madelon Anthony says:

    I am very upset about the loss of Village Footwear, and have spent thousands of dollars there over the years. I know I will find what I’m looking for there. Now what?
    It was a social experience as well as a shoe shopping event. The new stores coming in have poor quality goods, overpriced food, and no diversity. How many sugary, coffee themed places do we need. I miss the hardware store, and wish we had a little farmer’s market
    green grocer there or health food store. There shouldn’t be another beauty store when the street already has the best one I’ve ever encountered, there already! It is an example of what is going on all over this city, and bigger is not better.

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