Shoe Repair Extraordinaire
Shoe Repair Icon Steve Diaz Of The Village Cobbler Shares His Favorite Things About TCV, As We Say Farewell.
Everyone’s favorite shoe repair shop, The Village Cobbler at Town & Country Village, has recently closed up shop. This iconic merchant will miss the chatter of familiar customers dropping by with shoes, purses and other leather goods that need expert TLC.
Thanks for the 50+ Years of Superb Shoe Repair Service to the Community!
Steve Diaz, whose parents opened the store in 1967, first started working alongside his parents in 1980. He’s presided over the comings and goings through those doors for the last several decades and has now reached the threshold of a new adventure. Although we’re sorry to see The Village Cobbler go after serving the Memorial area for decades, we’re wishing Steve all great things as he moves on to this next big chapter of his life— semi-retirement!
In this parting interview, Steve tells us about the years he spent in the Town & Country Village community and all the things he’s loved about being here.
What are some of your fondest memories about your customers and being here at TCV over the years?
The people! I really enjoyed meeting all kinds of different people from working-class people to CEO’s to astronauts and celebrities. True story. As a teen working in the shop I remember there was honking in the back alley. I went out back to see what was up and there was a limousine trying to get through. A guy comes out of the limo and tells us to move the truck – it was Mickey Rooney!
I’ve met such a diversity of people over the years. And I’ve made friends with my customers. It’s neat to see how we’ve been doing shoe repairs for families that span generations. We’ve done shoe, purse and belt repairs for people’s parents and even grandparents.
Customers liked coming in to say hi even if they didn’t have anything for us to work on. All kinds of customers. I’d walk in and my dad would be sitting in the back eating home-made pickles with a world-renowned surgeon. There’s not a whole lot of instances where you can go into a store and speak to the owner and have a relationship with them where we know about the customer’s lives and their families.
We also had a lot of the same clientele as the Town Square Barbershop which is another establishment that has been at Town & Country Village for many decades.
What’s a memorable shoe repair you’ve had to work on?
One time a lady brought in a special pair of Louis Vuitton alligator shoes that were very expensive. A dog had chewed the heal off. The thing was that those weren’t even her shoes – she had borrowed them from someone! Luckily, we were able to match the skin and the repair came out perfect.
What are some of your favorite places to eat at Town & Country Village?
We’ve pretty much frequented at all of the eateries and restaurants over the years. Escalante’s is a favorite. I’ve known the owner since high school. The newly opened KP’s Kitchen, an American Bistro is another one that I like a lot. I’m really glad it’s taken off and local patrons are loving it.
Where do you like to shop at Town & Country Village?
The whole center is great for shopping. It’s a neat center. I’d often arrive before work on Saturday’s and grab a cup of coffee from one of the restaurants or coffee shops and enjoy a walk around while window shopping.
Where do you and your family like to go to relax at Town & Country Village?
My wife likes the Beautique Day Spa. It’s a really nice place. There are so many things you can do at the here. People feel safe and there are lots of different retailers to browse. It’s like a park. You can eat, have dinner, go have a drink. There is an abundance of restaurants. It’s so comfortable. There are not too many places in Houston where you see families strolling together in a shopping center, with strollers and kids.
City Centre is next door which the singles and younger crowd really like too. There’s a great relationship between them and Town & Country Village. They complement each other very well. The hotel guests from City Centre and those that attend the events can come over to enjoy what TCV has to offer too.
What’s not to be missed at TCV?
There’s so much! Retail stores, restaurants and lifestyle services. If you look, you’re pretty much going to find it. Restaurants that serve all kinds of food from Tex-Mex to sushi. There are options for men’s clothing and ladies’ clothing. If you can’t find something, ask. Everyone knows everyone else in the shopping center.
What are some secret tips & tricks of the trade you can share to help collectors best care for chic shoe, bags, belts and luggage?
Like anything, you need to maintain them. Use something like a pillowcase to store them instead of plastic storage boxes because you want leather to be able to breathe. As for shoes, use shoe trees to store them so that they keep their shape. Be it a belt or purse, take care of them, store them well.
When they start looking beat up and worn, it doesn’t take much to revitalize them and give them new life. There are all kinds of different leather conditioners you can use for your shoes. Get your things waterproofed periodically and use the leather conditioner. If you have a designer bag, belt or shoes that need are looking worn, they might just need a shine or some mending.
The trend of purchasing and collecting high-end sneakers have come about as of late as well. We have done the refinishing and staining for those as well. If you spend that much money on something, you want to make sure you take care of it correctly.
Shoe lovers want to know what if they have items that need repair?
I still keep a smaller shoe repair workshop and can work by appointment. For by-appointment services call 713-557-0642. Follow me on Facebook
Just as Steve says, there’s so much good stuff at TCV! From Tex-Mex restaurants like Escalante’s and Caliente’s to sushi spot Nori Sushi Bistro and the newly opened Italian Inspired Postino’s. You’ll find all kinds of dining options to please any palette. Patrons can enjoy a cup of coffee from Starbucks or a go for hearty weekend brunch at the popular hot-spot Snooze.
Great men’s clothing retailers include the Gap, Banana Republic, and JoS A. Bank. Ladies can find the latest styles at Chico’s, Francesca’s, Talbot’s, White House Black Market and more.
Look for new merchants and offerings coming soon to our premier shopping destination.
The space that held over 60 years of excellent professional workmanship, truly personal service, and friendly banter is now part of the storied history of Town and Country Village. While we say a fond farewell to The Village Cobbler, we also look towards the future as we continue to welcome new merchants and offerings to our premier shopping destination here on Houston’s west side!
We Always Appreciate Your Support & Patronage.
Stay up to date on merchant hours by visiting our Directory. Be sure check with merchants for sale happenings, in-store appointments, curbside services and hours before visiting.
We have easy store front parking. Plus, a parking garage which is free to Town & Country Village patrons. The garage is located on the South side of Queensbury Lane between Beltway 8 & Town & Country Blvd.
When you patronize CityCentre you must park on the North side of Queensbury Lane in CityCentre parking spaces. And/or in one of their garages. Please note if you park in the Town & Country Village garage and patronize CityCentre merchants you will be charged for parking.