Neighborhood Spotlight: Barry Bamberger of Eyes on Broadway

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Eyes on Broadway is a one-of-a-kind family-owned business in NoHo, currently under the auspices of its owner, Dr. Arno Kuzukyan. It offers top tier optical services and products, along with the newest developments in prescription lenses and contacts lenses. If you are in need of anything related to optical work and are in the neighborhood, we highly recommend that Eyes on Broadway is the place to visit.

Barry Bamberger has been managing their location in NoHo at 651 Broadway for 25 years and is now excited to continue doing so to where they’ve recently moved to at their new location at 680 Broadway, just one block up and across the street. He is a master optician who discovered his passion for optics after participating in a college program. His first job as a licensed optician was at a high-end optical store in Midtown Manhattan called Laytons Opticians, which was part of a quartet of stores whose owner wished to sell his business. Two of those stores, The Eye Shop and Eyes on the World, were purchased by Dr. Kuzukyan’s father and his partner, who then employed Barry. 

Soon after he started to work at Eyes on the World in the World Trade Center, the 1993 bombing occurred which turned the area into a virtual ghost town, much like Covid is doing to NYC now.

To revitalize the neighborhood after the devastation, the Port Authority launched a huge campaign to bring people back by subsidizing all the small businesses in the World Trade Center so they could offer a 30% discount. The massive response for support peaked the interest of the larger chain stores which were able to pay much higher rents, (their space in the World Trade Center was given to LensCrafters just before 9/11). Thus sensing there was no interest from the Port Authority to renew their lease at a tenable rate, the partners opened Eyes on Broadway in NOHO and Eyes on the World of Lexington in East Midtown Manhattan soon after. 

Dr. Kuzukyan came on board as soon as he graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 1999. As many of his patients will testify, he is exceptionally skilled in determining accurate prescriptions, fitting contact lenses, and catching potential disorders for even the most challenging candidates. This then affords Barry and his coworkers the chance to present their clients with the best options for lenses and stylish frames. He can be proud of being able to claim he has provided these services not only to the famous athletes, celebrities, models, and musicians who have crossed his path over the years, but to the students, professors and residents of the NYU community, as well as the many visitors from all over the country and the world who come because they’ve been recommended by others. 

The new location was suggested by one of Barry’s longtime customers and friends when he revealed the difficulties they were experiencing with their landlord during these challenging times. These types of personal connections are what the NoHo BID would love to see more of.

The new location affords much more space for an extra exam room, the lab where the glasses are made and restroom facilities on the ground floor, as well as room to practice safe social distancing. Every effort is being made to clean and disinfect every frame that is tried on, utilizing an ultraviolet light that sterilizes all surfaces, killing air borne germs, capable of disinfecting a store twice the store size. All the instruments the Doctor uses have face shields and are wiped down with alcohol and disinfectant wipes after each use. Clients are required to wear a face mask to enter the premises until it is deemed safe to no longer do so.

Eyes on Broadway is a true New York institution and hopes to persevere through yet another challenging time. A family business like this one thrives on face-to-face connections. It is critical that their patients be assured of their own safety and the sincere concern for everyone’s health in the practice. 

Regulars of Eyes on Broadway have shown gratitude and are very comfortable with the measures that have been taken to ensure their safety, but for a business like this to survive, it needs to attract new clientele as well. 

The store offers frames from luxury brands like Lindberg, Dita, Tom Ford, and Bevel Spectacles, as well as access to other perhaps more familiar brands such as Oliver Peoples and RayBan. They feature an extensive display of Lafont frames, a French eyewear company, whose headquarters are in the neighborhood. They carry an array of frames for every budget along with their house brand, EYESonNY. They are an in-network provider for VSP.

 

Please come down to Eyes on Broadway to show your support for Barry, Dr. K and his staff in these times of uncertainty. With everything going on in the world, businesses like Eyes on Broadway and their sister store, Eyes on the World of Lexington, need your help more than ever. Barry is an upstanding citizen of New York City, and will always be a friendly face to welcome you.

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