PROGRESS 2014: Spectacle Shoppe in New Brighton

From funky to conservative, the Spectacle Shoppe has the ideal frame for every look.

Joe Sokierka, 87, is a part-time optician at Spectacle Shoppe and is available by appointment.

The Spectacle Shoppe President David Ulrich.

Put fashion into your eyeglasses

Spectacle Shoppe
2050 Silver Lake Road
New Brighton, MN 55112

Had it with the limited menu of variations on “tortoiseshell” at most optical stores?

Stop in at the Spectacle Shoppe in New Brighton, St. Paul, Burnsville or Minneapolis in Uptown where they know eyewear are the first accessory people notice as they meet you. Wouldn’t it be great to highlight your green eyes, find a perfect (not just “OK”) shape and color for your face, finally wear ultra-light frames you can hardly tell are on or find those perfect glasses that reflect your personality and fashion sense all at once?

Serving the Twin Cities since 1969, David Ulrich’s Spectacle Shoppes offer over 12,000 frames on the showroom floors and even more styles in the vast stock room. At the Spectacle Shoppe, they range from pink floral cat’s eyes to cool minimalist metal and everything in between, including jeweled, textured (snakeskin, anyone?) and bold colors that’ll make you stand out in a crowd.

Not sure you’re that adventurous? More traditional offerings still say “you” but more understatedly. Or, if your favorite look is vintage, choose from a range from Buddy Holly-type frames to those oversize ‘80s classics, complete with drop temples.

Drawing on his extensive stock of vintage frames, Ulrich provided 50 pair of eye glasses for Joel and Ethan Coen’s movie “A Serious Man” so actors in the dark comedy fit the 1960s setting. He’s also the first call for costumers in Minnesota theater, arts and music communities -- as well as neighboring states and as far away as Canada and Texas.

But most of his business is from regular customers like Kathy Callinan of Arden Hills, who recently bought glasses from the Spectacle Shoppe. With so many fun choices, Callinan says shopping was a pleasure, not a chore.

“It’s an experience because there are so many unique, colorful options rather than the typical glasses you’ll get at a box store,” she says. “There are so many different looks you can get. And the people are so helpful and knowledgeable about what would look good on you. They have worked there so many years that they know what they are talking about. They want you to be very certain about what you order.”

Because people usually only have one or two pairs of eyeglasses, they want to ensure they complement their wardrobe and reflect their image, Ulrich says. With the store’s high tech camera, our guests are able to see themselves in several different frame styles from various angles, before they buy.

All of our store locations offer eye exams by appointment. Our Doctor of Optometry will examine your eyes to determine your perfect prescription. New Brighton, St. Paul and Minneapolis locations offer our very own in-house labs and in many cases are able to fashion your new eyewear the very same day.

From there, prescriptions are tailored to each customers’ needs with either hand or laser grinding of lenses. Ulrich explains some people need a larger area of the lens ground in order to do computer work, while others need to emphasize distance or close-up capabilities. Lenses can be also polarized for driving, fishing and other outdoor activities.

Ulrich, an optician himself, also has stores in the Uptown area, Burnsville and in St. Paul on Grand. The New Brighton store was his first and is his biggest store. And he’s definitely at the leading edge of the eyesight curve.

“Optical has become a fashion business,” Ulrich says. “A face is a work of art and deserves a great frame.

“It’s like clothing for your eyes. People feel good about themselves with our glasses.”


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