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Leesburg coffee shop shuts its doors for good

photoTimes-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny The downtown Leesburg coffee shop Shoes Cup and Cork Club closed for good at the end of 2012.

Leesburg residents were surprised to find a popular hang out in downtown Leesburg shut its doors over the Christmas holidays.

Shoes Cup and Cork Club, a Leesburg mainstay since it opened in July 2009 has closed.

Contrary to previous reports by other news outlets, Shoes formally closed down for good Christmas Eve and did not open again over the holiday break.

Owner operators Ed and Jane Shihadeh made the decision to close the popular gathering place because they are getting ready to open their own sandwich shop, Philly Rabe’s, in Frederick, Md.

Their new shop will open sometime next week.

“Our original intention was to open Philly Rabe’s and also have the coffee shop open. As we got closer to the deadline we realized we couldn’t properly keep Shoes open and give it the service and need it required and also open Philly Rabe’s up,” Ed Shihadeh said. “Unfortunately, we had to make the decision to shut down Shoes while we get this operation underway. We were really trying to make the best decision for both shops.”

As natives of the Philadelphia area, Ed and Jane Shihadeh felt opening a sandwich shop in the area would help give their customers a taste of Old World sandwiches Philadelphia style.

Ed Shihadeh was unsure if the property would be re-opened under new management or if it would open as something completely different.

Shoes is owned by SWaN Investment Group. The Shihadehs noted they have been in discussions with the group, but the investors are undecided what they will do with the property.

The couple realizes the impact Shoes closing would have on Leesburg.

“The one or two patrons we have spoken to were sad we were closing,” Ed Shihadeh said. “We love the people of Leesburg and we love the patronage we have seen from them. It has been great.”

Town of Leesburg Economic Development Director Marantha Edwards was surprised to find out the shop had closed its doors.

“It was surprising to me. I thought the paper on the windows meant they were doing something over the holidays, but any time I was in there it was a gathering place. The nature of that location downtown is good for something like that,” Edwards said. “We have worked hard to attract restaurants of a culinary type and we will continue to do that from an economic development perspective, so it would be my hope that it would be revived as some type of culinary opportunity.”

Even though its status is up in the air at this time, Jane Shihadeh hopes Shoes will continue to be a fixture in downtown Leesburg.

“During our time in Leesburg we tried very hard to be a positive part of the community,” Jane Shihadeh said. “We provided many local teens with work experience and became mentors and role models for them. Hopefully, whomever takes over Shoes will continue this tradition of giving and values, along with providing a quality product and attractive shop.”

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