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Blue Ribbon back in business downtown

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After a nearly two-month hiatus, Joe Murray has reopened Blue Ribbon Shoe Shop, 7 W. Fourth Ave., less than a block from the old shop location at 409 Broad St.

Murray’s lease for the Broad Street location expired June 30, and building owner Nathan Roberts said he gave Murray notice back in February that the lease would not be renewed.

The building was in a state of disrepair and Roberts said it was time to make the necessary repairs to the roof and north wall of the building. Repairs could not be made while the shop continued to operate, Roberts said.

Murray hoped to find a place downtown because that’s where his customer base had been focused. He’s run Blue Ribbon for the 21 years since he acquired the business from the Diprima family, which had run the business downtown since 1914.

The new store, where Drummond Tax Service was previously located, will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. but might close a little earlier on Wednesdays.

“I’ve been trying to get in here for about two months,” Murray said.

Roberts provided some help in moving some of the heavy equipment used in the shoe repair business, Murray said.

Roberts is continuing renovations to the old shoe repair building, but has not disclosed his plans for the property yet.