Eyes on Delancey

Posted on: October 7th, 2008 at 9:24 am by

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Last week, Triangle Optics moved across the street from its longtime 95 Delancey location. A salesman there informed me that the lease expired and the business needed to re-locate (most likely due to rents, but that wasn’t confirmed). Their new, albeit downsized storefront is mere steps from neighborhood archnemeses Sol Moscot [link] and Cohen’s Fashion Optical [link]. This eyeglasses triumvirate, as it were, has monopolized the LES for over eighty years.

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Sol Moscot established itself first. Patriarch Hyman managed his pushcart business on Orchard Street from 1899 until finally settling in at 94 Rivington in 1915. Hyman’s son Sol helped his father in the original retail shop, until finally taking over himself. The flagship store moved to its current location at 118 Orchard (at Delancey) in 1951. Today there are a total of three stores citywide.

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Cohen’s Fashion Optical arrived on the scene in 1921. Its founder Jack Cohen had similar success with his Orchard Street pushcart, and eventually opened a store across the way at number 117. As a franchise, their business has a more corporate feel, and doesn’t invoke nostalgia to sell its product. There are over one hundred locations in malls and cities along the eastern seaboard.

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These days, however, the old guard has some new-school competition. Other boutique eye specialists like Naked Eye [link] and H Optics [link] have recently invaded the neighborhood with a much trendier mantra.

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