I knew things would be different when Boca and Delray started to open up again; I knew we’d lose some businesses. But Vince Canning Shoes? This is bad news and it’s another Delray original that is disappearing before my eyes. Vince Canning shoes is a third-generation family business, and has been on the Avenue for 68 years. Until March 19, when it closed due to the coronavirus during peak season until May 11. The loss was great and with no new product coming in from Europe, owner Mark Denkler said in a Sun-Sentinel article that “I had to decide, ‘I’m 58, do I really want another three-year lease?’”
The store will close on June 30 (for closing sale information, click here); Dinkler will merge its inventory with the family’s other store across the street, Tootsie’s, which they have owned for five years.
I am relieved the Denklers are still selling shoes on the Avenue, but I will miss Vince Canning, just like I still miss the Mercer-Wenzel windows, and tomatoes from Neal’s and all the other ghosts of businesses past before Delray became this thriving hotspot for South Florida.
Everyone points to how sleepy Delray was; but there was a magical interval between dead zone and crazy hot in the early 90s when going downtown was like claiming your own small town. You’d see people you knew strolling, you’d get a beer at the Colony Liquor Store; you might stop in Shining Through or the Christmas store or have breakfast at Ken & Hazel’s. The Trouser Shop was still there where it should be, and DCOTA and Elwood’s were BIG changes to come. It was beginning to come alive, but on a scale that was warm and slow and welcoming.
I still get nostalgic for those days, when you felt as if you knew everybody and it was your community, your place to go on a Saturday. Vince Canning is another loss and I get it, but I hate it too.
Shout out to Hand’s: Do not even THINK about leaving.