Two untimely deaths have closed the doors of one of Spokane’s longest-enduring downtown businesses.
Saad’s Shoe Repair shut down its store at 215 N. Wall on Dec. 1.
Owner Larry Alfano moved all still-unclaimed shoes to his still-operating NorthTown Mall store.
Alfano purchased the Saad’s business from previous owner Jack Saad in 1986.
The original downtown Saad’s opened in 1906, nearby what was then Spokane’s City Hall.
It had remained in operation ever since.
Alfano lost longtime workers Bill Ogle Jr. in September and Ruth Carter in November. The deaths left Alfano little choice, he said.
“You can’t run a business when you lost two people who knew how to do everything,” he said. Ogle worked at Saad’s for 28 years; Carter worked there for 58 years.
Alfano said he has three years remaining on the lease. He’s unsure who might take over the space. Spokane’s Kiemle & Hagood represent the landlord, the Jack D. Saad Family Trust.
After buying the business from the Saad family, Alfano ran four locations, including repair shops at Shadle Park Shopping Center and at University City.
Those closed over time. “People don’t spend as much effort on repairs,” he said, “as we move more toward a throwaway society.”
Several Spokane shoe repair businesses are still operating, including Goodyear Shoe Repair, Cruz Custom Boots, the NorthTown Saad’s and Ressa’s Shoe Service.