Milford Shoe Store Has New Owners, Leaves Lasting Memories - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Milford Shoe Store Has New Owners, Leaves Lasting Memories

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© A photo of Skip Pikus working in Lou's Bootery © A photo of Skip Pikus working in Lou's Bootery

MILFORD, Del. - The building that housed an iconic Milford shoe store for almost 70 years has changed hands.

Lou Pikus opened Lou's Bootery in 1948. His son Skip then owned and operated the store until July of 2015, when he died of cancer. Skip's son Steve worked in the store for 20 years. He says Lou's Bootery was so much more than just a store to his father.

"Dad was just a man of the city. He loved Milford. He loved being downtown," he told WBOC. "He didn't have many hobbies, so running the store became his hobby."

The store also served as a social spot, according to Pikus.

"There were times when people would come in and you knew they weren't there to buy shoes," he said with a smile. "Most of the time it was people stopping by to say hi." 

The family decided not to run the business after Skip Pikus' death, and the building went up for sale. Dan Bond, the owner of The Towers Bed & Breakfast and several other buildings on Front Street, purchased the property, closing yesterday. Wes Cromer is a realtor who grew up with the Pikus family and helped broker the deal. He says the sale holds special meaning to him.

"I'm a Milford guy," Cromer said. "Skip was well known, well liked and stood out on this corner and was a presence here for a very long time. So it's really neat and exciting to be involved with this project."

Cromer says the building's historic status allows Bond to renovate the property with downtown development district funds and state historical tax credits. He says the building's ground level will remain commercial space and the upper two floors will be turned into apartments. Steve Pikus says he's happy the building will get much-needed renovations, but of course the sale is bittersweet.

"It was such a institution. It was such a part of the community," Pikus said. "It's like a piece of the family."

One renovation that is welcome is the building's new name.

"Dan & Rhonda [Bond] shared with me last night that it be named the Pikus building," he said. "Which is pretty special." 

A generations-old store has a new purpose, but leaves behind generations of lasting memories in Milford. 

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