New York City Chic in the Heart of Old Town
Who knew that sunglasses aka eyewear could be such a big business? Oren Goldberg and his father, that’s who. Opening in New York City in 2013 as a standalone eyewear boutique, Goldberg brought Specs-NY to Old Town Alexandria in April of 2016. Located at 217 King Street in the heart of Old Town, Oren says he couldn’t have picked a better location.
It was a pleasure to meet and interview Oren. Not only did I discover how much I don’t know about sunglasses but I met a young businessman who has his heart in the right place. Goldberg grew up in the retail business working in his family’s small clothing store chain, OMG. Yes….you read that correctly. Only this OMG was established in the early 1980’s and stands for Oren and Mya Goldberg. It seems that his father was way ahead of his time when he named the store. He tells me that he did leave the family fold to go to school and pursue a career in law in 2002. After graduation, he practiced tax law in a small firm in Bethesda for about 6 years. He got to the DC area via North Carolina (school and meeting his now wife) and now resides in the city. When his father approached him about coming back to his retail roots with the inception of Specs-NY, he decided that it was the right thing to do. He jumped right into the deep end in 2014 and opened three stores in three months – Metro Centre (since closed), Montgomery Mall and Springfield Town Center. In addition to opening the Old Town location in 2016, he has a store in The District section of the MGM Grand Resort in National Harbor that opened this year.
Specs-NY is nothing like Sunglass Hut that’s for sure. Having been in both the Old Town and MGM locations, the inventory at both places is very impressive. There is a style and price range for everybody at the Old Town location while the inventory at the MGM location is geared more toward the “high roller”. As you would expect for a store the caliber of Specs-NY, they carry designer brands the likes of Prada, Gucci, Coach and several others and also eyewear from Krewe, Tom Ford, Ray Ban, Oakley and my favorite, Maui Jim. This is a very small sampling of what is available.
Goldberg tells me that customer service is paramount in all of his stores. The Sales Associates are very well versed in the benefits of different types of lenses as well as being able to help you find a style that fits your face and lifestyle. Eyewear is an extension of your personality as far as I’m concerned. I lean toward the conservative while many of my female friends lean toward what’s new NOW. However, I might just step outside the box and buy those pair that will make me feel like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
If you are someone who wears prescription lenses and would like to have a larger selection of frames for your sunglasses than your optician carries, Specs-NY has an in-house professional in their original location in NYC that can fill your prescription. Also available in the Old Town store are a selection of B+D readers for those of us who need a little assistance in that area.
Please make it a point to stop in at the Old Town location and see all that Oren and his crew have to offer. You won’t be disappointed I am sure. Goldberg is a very hands on owner and will most likely be at the store when you visit. Introduce yourself when you see him and tell him you saw his story here.
217 King Street
Old Town Alexandria