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Quick, easy and friendly service at Spectacle Shoppe
Since 1969, Spectacle Shoppe has served the Twin Cities with service that is quick and friendly, while offering a wide range of frame options.
Owner David Ulrich was trained in Opticianary while serving in the Army in the early ‘60s — he says when he was taking classes, the methods of manufacturing eyeglasses were in flux.
“The industry was changing from more primitive ways to diamond wheels and the wheels could grind the glass,” David says. “Usually it would take one hour to grind one lens, but the new diamond wheels could do it in about three to four minutes.”
After he got out of the Army, an optometrist in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, recruited him. He pressed his new boss to buy the modern equipment he was familiar with.
“I talked the doctor into buying the machine and ... I started doing one-hour service,” David says
That quick service is something he kept going when he opened Spectacle Shoppe. Ulrich says in most cases, his staff can turn around corrective lenses in a day or two.
The Spectacle Shoppe offers more than 12,000 frames on its showroom floors and even more styles in its vast stock room. At the Spectacle Shoppe, frames range from hot-pink floral cats, to cool minimalist metal and everything in-between, including jeweled, textured and bold colors that’ll make you stand out in a crowd.
“If someone comes in with a small face, we have frames for that,” Ulrich says. “Or if they’ve got a real wide nose, we make something to fit it comfortably.”
At the Spectacle Shoppe’s New Brighton location there is a room totally devoted to vintage frames, all hand selected by Ulrich. Drawing from this extensive selection, the Spectacle Shoppe provided 50 pairs of eyeglasses for the Coen Brother’s movie “A Serious Man,” so actors in the dark comedy fit the 1960s setting.
For more contemporary styles, Spectacle Shoppe carries exclusive lines including Ray Ban, OGI, Seraphin, Tag Heuer, Silhouette, iGreen, Oliver Peoples and Tiffany and Co., as well as sports glasses: Oakley, Wiley X and Rudy Project.
Knowing your lenses are made in-house helps eliminate some of the chances of lenses being lost, broken or made with incorrect prescriptions. “Each pair of lenses is inspected three times,” David says.
All Spectacle Shoppe locations — New Brighton, St. Paul on Grand Avenue, Uptown Minneapolis and Burnsville — offer eye exams by appointment. A doctor of optometry will examine your eyes to determine your prescription. The New Brighton, St. Paul and Minneapolis locations also offer their very own in-house labs.
From there, prescriptions are tailored to each guest’s needs, with either hand or laser ground 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 also be polarized for driving, fishing and other outdoor activities.
Open seven days a week, Spectacle Shoppe is also open for private showings after-hours and hosts eyewear parties, for up to 10 people.
“Optical has become a fashion business — a face is a work of art and deserves a great frame,” Ulrich says. “It’s like clothing for your eyes. People feel good about themselves with our glasses.”