Pablo’s Shoe Repair

A shop with sole

By Andrea Lopez-Villafaña

Sitting behind an enormous San Diego State University building, is a small shop named Pablo’s Shoe Repair. The store is owned by Pablo Serrano, one of the many sons of Pablo Sr. with the same name. His tools and scars on his arms show the history of the place and hard work that goes into repairing shoes.

Serrano didn’t plan on shoe repair as a career but after his car was stolen in college he was able to fall back on the shoe business. He has been repairing shoes for almost 10 years but isn’t sure about the future of his business.

The owner of the building complex has been talking about renovating the area and then selling to the university. Despite the uncertainty, Serrano isn’t worried because he will simply adjust to what happens in his life. He believes that the whole reason that people bring their shoes in is because they mean something to that person, so he does his best to repair the shoes to their liking.

Pablo Serrano opens his shoe repair shop, Pablo’s Shoe Repair, Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. He said he enjoys being the owner because he makes up his own hours.


The shoe repair shop’s customer base is made up of older individuals despite being located near San Diego State University.


Serrano feared that his customers would forget about him after South Campus Plaza, a dorm complex that stands several stories higher than the shop, was built in spring 2017.


Serrano said he thinks we live in a throw-away society, so when people visit his shop to get their shoes fixed he knows that it’s because those shoes mean a lot to that person.


Serrano’s father Pablo Sr. named all four of his male children after himself to keep his legacy alive.


Serrano learned to fix shoes at a young age by watching his father work.


Glue bottles don’t typically look like Serrano’s because they need to stay sealed to avoid too much air getting in, but it adds character to the shop he said.


At the end of his day, Serrano’s hands end up covered in shoe paint and glue.
Serrano tells all his customers to have a blessed day after he returns their shoes.