Quality work, fast service and friendly pricing have kept Coit Boot and Shoe Repair open for 43 years, according to owner Nick Nikolopoulos.

Nikolopoulos opened the shop in 1980, shortly after moving to America from his home country of Greece.

“If you do something, you have to do it right the first time,” Nikolopoulos said. “If you have to redo it, you’ll lose money, then the customer.”

Before emigrating, the store owner spent a year serving in the Greek army, something all Greek men are required to do. His service in the military was unpaid, so he made money by polishing and repairing boots of the American soldiers on the base.

In 1979, he decided he would “try and make it in America.” He moved to Dallas, where he had a few acquaintances. After working for Nocona Boot Factory, which eventually merged with the then-parent company Justin Boots, for a year, Nikolopoulos decided to open his own shop.

At the time, he didn’t speak English, but he was still able to communicate with his customers by being attuned to their needs as well as the ins and outs of the trade.

“As soon as they showed me, I knew exactly what they needed,” Nikolopoulos said. “If I caught one word, then I knew what they needed.”

Nikolopoulos is a third-generation cobbler and pays homage to this heritage by displaying the tools and chair his grandfather used in his own shop in Greece.

His reputation for high-quality work landed him several A-list clients during the 1980s. He repaired and cleaned boots, shoes and other items for the cast of the hit show “Dallas,” a gig he earned after star Patrick Duffy stopped by his shop for a shoeshine. Additionally, Nikolopoulos also did work for the Dallas Cowboys, making repairs to the cheerleaders’ uniforms and dying the shoes several team members received in endorsement deals to match the team’s jerseys.

In addition to repairing boots and shoes, Nikolopoulos also repairs purses and other leather items, but he said boots are his favorite to work on because that is how he learned his trade.

The biggest issue facing the entire industry, Nikolopoulos said, is that he can’t find young people interested in learning the trade and carrying on the multigenerational tradition.

“Back in the ’80s, I would have kids from Pearce High School and other regional high schools ... [come] here and work a half day to learn,” Nikolopoulos said. “Now, they want to work, but they want to work at the cash register.”