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‘The cobbler’ closing up shop after 54 years in downtown Lexington

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 5:30 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s the American Dream - an immigrant fleeing oppression finds success by starting his own business.

Sadly, on Friday, he’ll close up shop after 54 yearsin in downtown Lexington.

This is the story of shoemaker Tony Likirdopulos, aka “the cobbler.”

It’s amazing seeing to see somebody working that long being part of a vibrant downtown, probably seen a lot change in that time. The 80-year-old Likirdopulos has put his soul into the sole business over the past decades.

“I don’t like it, but I have no choice. Time to retire,” Likirdopulos said. “I’ve been doing this for 80 years I was born and raised in it.”

Likirdopulos was born in Greece. Oppression in his homeland led the shoemaker on an odyssey to a new life in America in 1964.

He brought his skill with him.

Being a cobbler for five decades was no small feat.

“My age, plus I got five stints. Lot of dust. You have a hard time to breathe,” Likirdopulos said. “It’s all I knew to do. See, if I was born over here I wouldn’t do this business.”

His loyal customers, one of them since 1990, can’t believe it’s all coming to an end.

“Now, I guess I’ll be in search again, but no one can replace him,” customer John Harris said.

Likirdopulos says any unclaimed shoes will go to charity.

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