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Desert Companion

You make me feel brand new

In this tough economy, when it’s broke, don’t nix it — fix it. Here’s where

If there’s one thing the recession taught us, it’s the evils of unbridled consumerism. With their wallets on diets, people have rediscovered the virtue of taking care of their possessions — remember when your Jimmy Choos did only one tour of duty? — and with it, the value of the good ol’ repair shop. After polling friends, fans and those in the know, here’s our decidedly unscientific list of the best.


Vegas Valley Air Duct Cleaning

Build-up of residue in the flue above your fireplace can get so thick that flash fires start inside the chimney — bad news to anybody warming his toes at the hearth. For a flat fee of $150, the modern-day Berts at Vegas Valley Air Duct will de-creosote your smokestack, making your fireplace safer and more efficient. 4045 S. Buffalo Drive, 480-2820,


Linh’s Fashion Alterations

Same-day service, $6 hems and business hours until 7 p.m. six days a week are great, but nothing in the threads trade tops the endorsement of brides and bridesmaids, who widely agree that Linh Luu, co-owner of Linh’s alterations, is the best in the business. And wedding dresses aren’t even the specialty of her three seamstresses; that would be jeans. 1310 E. Silverado Ranch Blvd.,  888-5464,

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Guru Crew

Guru Crew touts itself as the computer repair outfit that understands your financial limitations. Opened in 2009, during a low point in the recession, the company promises on its website that its rates are always less than $99 and “cheaper than Geek Squad.” All the crew’s services, which include things like data backup, network troubleshooting and virus removal, are available through house calls, and a diagnostic check is free. 8690 S. Maryland Parkway #130, 714-0010,


D Bar J Hat Company

Don’t let the cowgirl on the website fool you: D Bar J Hat Company is a full-service hatter, with pros who hand-make custom lids on machines dating back to the 19th century. In the 30 years it’s been in business here, D Bar J has worked with art associations and theater troupes to create historically accurate period pieces and creative flights of fancy — so, we’re pretty sure they can handle the hole in your fedora. At press time, the company was in the middle of a move, but knock on the back door and they’ll be happy to help you out. 5965 Harrison Drive #10, 430-0681,

Home appliances

At’Cher Service

Taken-for-granted refrigerators and washing machines are vindicated during breakdowns, when modern-day humans curse a life before such luxuries. It’s no wonder the appliance repair man is the object of so much… um… “affection” in the “movies.” At’Cher Service fixes dishwashers, microwaves, ranges, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers until 8 p.m. in the evening — since Mom is more likely to be at work these days than impatiently awaiting the arrival of her hero. 3281 N. Decatur Blvd. #130, 505-8111,

[HEAR MORE: How do we repair our school buildings on a budget?  Hear a discussion on "KNPR's State of Nevada."]


Desert Wireless

Apple must loathe these guys. On its website, Desert Wireless draws a pointed “X” through “$200” (the typical minimum price to have an iPhone repaired at the mothership), trumpeting a fee of $40 instead. And then there’s the time. Cracked screens? 30 minutes. Glass or LCD replacement? 20 minutes. They even promise to turn your iPhone 4 into the lusted-after white model – or blue, clear, pink or red, if that’s more you. They work on other smart phones as well, including Blackberries, EVO, HTC, Motorola and Samsung, according to the site. 1500 E. Tropicana Ave. #226,  339-0992,


Vegas Motor Sports

Vegas Motor Sports gets rave reviews from the scooter crowd, mainly because it’s hard to find a mechanic for your moped — the conventional wisdom being, “What? You can’t fix a two-stroke engine yourself?” Even if 49ccs is in your league, VMS is good to know for parts (including tires) and accessories. And when you’re ready to graduate to a real motorcycle, well, they have those too. 3867 S. Valley View Blvd. #1, 362-9294,


Eagle Shoe Repair

Nostalgic types can often be heard bemoaning the lost art of the cobbler. No one in Las Vegas can measure up to their favorite guy at that little place in the Bronx! Chris Avila, owner of Eagle Shoe Repair, begs to differ. He says his two-year-old outfit has gained a reputation for having a soft touch with designer footwear. They don’t balk at custom-made, dance or orthopedic shoes, either, and — in the tradition of the trade — will also repair your wallet, luggage, belt and other leather accessories. 8221 Charleston Blvd. #104, 799-9592,


Picture Perfect Repair Shop

Picture Perfect Repair Shop’s customer relations may seem quaint to those born into the immediacy of digitaldom. It has no website, only three likes on its Facebook page and asks that you call in advance of visiting, in case the owner-operator is out on a house call. Still, customers say, Picture Perfect extends that old fashioned attitude to its prices and service, which encompasses just about any kind of TV — including big-screens — and comes with free estimates. 3297 N. Las Vegas Blvd.,  644-1456


Regal Upholstery & Drapery

This family-owned operation boasts “the largest selection of fabric in Nevada!” on its website. Hmm … a bit difficult to fact-check. However, you can find out for yourself by calling them, since they’ll bring samples right to your doorstep. They’ll pick up and deliver some furniture for free, too, and how can you not love a company whose slogan is: “If your furniture is unbecoming to you, it should be coming to Regal”? Seriously. 4335 W. Charleston Road, 870-2929,


A-1 Vacuum and Sewing

Vacuum and sewing machine repair shops are not hard to find in Las Vegas, but what seems to matter most to the customers who use them is this: not getting a pitch to buy a new product when they take the old one in for a fix-up. That’s how A-1 gets props — well, that, and knowing how to repair every make and model under the sun. If your vacuum or sewing machine is still under warranty, there’s a pretty good chance A-1 is a qualified service tech for it, so make sure and ask. 4069 W. Charleston Blvd., 870-7986, 

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