Please enjoy the experience with music from the store owner Larry "The Shoe".
When you walk into Al's Shoe Service in Mount Prospect, a suburb of Chicago, you are not just stepping into a shoe repair shop, but you are entering inside a vintage collection of heart and soul. And if you're lucky, you may also encounter a jazz ensemble performing in the center of the shop!
Larry DeAngelo, the shop's owner, has managed to combine his love for music with playing the flute and the craftsmanship of his shoe repair trade. "If I'm graced by the wonderful musicians that walk through my door, and they happen to bring their instruments, away we go," says Larry. "So whether I'm playing solo or with a group of friends, I make it a point to play music daily. I perform for my customers every chance I get. It's part of the deal here!" Larry has always felt so blessed that he can run his business, fix the customer's shoes, and play the flute all in one day without leaving his shoe shop.
Larry became a shoemaker at the age of 24 after his honorable discharge from the Air Force in 1974. Larry's late father, Al, worked as a shoemaker in Chicago and Franklin Park, a suburb of Chicago. It was in Franklin Park when Larry learned his father's trade. "I literally grew up in the shoe shop. When I was a little kid I used to sit in the back and watch my father work. I always knew that I wanted to honor my father's legacy by following in his footsteps. So that's when I made the commitment to learn my father's trade and simultaneously decided to also teach myself how to play the flute. I was fortunate enough to be able to work with my father for about 15 years before he passed away. And even though he may no longer physically be present with us, his heart & soul will live on forever, especially in Al's Shoe Repair Shop!"