Shoe repair shop recounts its 50 years in business in the Binghamton Plaza

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — A shoe repair shop located at Binghamton Plaza has been keeping customers happy for more than a half-century. And with the building at the plaza set to be torn down, the shop said it still has no plans of stopping.

Tim and Philomena Harris owned their business, “Leather Corner Shoe Repair Shop” since 1972. The two are a married couple and run the shop together.

“I would walk up from Harpursvile school, originally just to hang out with his sister,” Philomena said, describing how she first met Tim. “And one of the times I was there I noticed him. And I didn’t think anything right away, it took a while. And we just started talking and going out and we were married the next year.”

After they married, Tim worked at shops around the state and in New York City. When they moved back to Binghamton, the cobbler shop was going out of business. That’s when the duo decided to buy the shop.

Now, the two have a huge customer base, with loyal customers coming from Utica and Cooperstown. The two told 12 News that many customers come in now looking for patches to be attached to their motorcycle jackets and vests.

Over the years, the reputation of having quality work at affordable prices grew their clientele with customers coming from New Jersey and Boston, bringing bags of shoes needing repair.

One customer, Kevin Carr, was picking up a pair of his wife’s sandals that needed repair.

Carr said, “This is the only place in town that can get it fixed.”

But last month, the City of Binghamton won its county battle over its desire to enact eminent domain in Binghamton Plaza. Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham called the plaza an “eyesore,” and said the plaza will continue to bring down property values. This may force them to close their shop.

“If that happens… You know, I’m 77,” Tim said. “And nobody else is going to pick this up so it’s pretty much done.”

Despite this, Tim and Philomena said they’ve been lucky with what they built.

“I guess you can just say we’ve been very lucky,” Philomena said. “I can’t think of any other way to put it. Lots of hard work, come in every day, we’re open Tuesday through Saturday, we’re closed Sunday and Monday, and then on Tuesdays, we come in again at 9 a.m.”

The two said they’ve been incredibly grateful for their customers for trusting them over the years. They also said they will continue their craft for as long as they can.

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