The first shoe shine stand at Union Station in decades opened Monday, as the stand’s attendant Marco Ramirez and his team began working their magic earlier this morning. Among the stand’s first customers were Metro Board Member and L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Metro CEO Art Leahy.
The shoe shine stand is located at the west end of the Union Station passageway near the Famima convenience store. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A shine costs six dollars. Customers will be seated in a beautiful four-seat historic replica of an early 20th century shoe shine stand while their scuffed and dull shoes are buffed, brushed, polished and rejuvenated.
The opening of the shoe shine stand is emblematic of the revitalization of Union Station as a major transit hub, and is one of a growing number of amenities for the 60,000 commuters that travel through the station each day.
Most recently, T&Y Bakery opened near the Amtrak ticketing area. The Metro Board of Directors has also approved leases for Café Crepe, two food and beverage kiosks in the East Portal, and a gastropub in the Fred Harvey Room that will be managed by downtown restauranteurs Cedd Moses and Eric Needleman.
Mr. Ramirez, a U.S. Army veteran, has shined shoes at the Los Angeles Athletic Club in downtown Los Angeles for 31 years and also manages the shoe shine stand at the U.S. Bank Building. He will run the stand in Union Station along with his colleagues Filemon Ruano, Kevin Dixon and David Trejo.