- Romano Cobbler
224 Eighth Ave., nr. 21st St.; 212-675-7463
Roman Nektlov opened his small Chelsea storefront in September, but his reputation for salvaging city-street-destroyed soles has already extended far beyond the neighborhood. (He gets regular clients coming in from Queens and New Jersey.) In the business for 43 years, he began studying at his father’s knee in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, at age 13, and worked with another cobbler just a block east before going solo. Nektlov has developed the artisan’s eye needed to refurbish designer heels (he’s used to completely resoling red-bottomed Louboutins, from $40) but retains the folksy touch of a small-town cobbler (he’ll offer you a Ukrainian chocolate on the way out). Basic repairs like adding taps to dress shoes cost as little as $3, fixing a broken boot zipper starts at $15, and he’ll never push the more expensive of two repair options if the cheaper is just as good.
Best Red-Sole Repair
From the 2014 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).