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ACS-2015: Fourth Place -Eyes & Optics

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Eyes & Optics, Las Vegas, NV

OWNERS: Dr. Edward J. Malik; URL: eyesandopticslv.com; OPENED: 2014; EMPLOYEES: 6; AREA: 2,083 square feet; TOP BRANDS: Bellinger, Blackfin, Etnia Barcelona, Lafont, Ziggy; FACEBOOK: facebook.com/pages/Eyes-and-Optics-Las-Vegas/246672835717


HE’S IN A BRAND-NEW BUILDING in the high-toned Downtown Summerlin development southwest of the Strip, but Dr. Ed Malik wanted to give the space a lived-in vibe that is uniquely Las Vegas. “The concept was this,” he says. “A bank was here 50 years until government regulation caused it to fail. Then a few hipsters opened a nightclub, until it went bankrupt like they all do.” Then Malik swept in to open “an ultra-lounge” showcasing eyewear creators “who put their heart and soul into their lines.”

Malik has been practicing retail-savvy optometry for 30 years, with previous projects including Oculus at Caesar’s Palace and a sunwear shop on the Strip. He also has another Eyes & Optics on Rainbow Road. But the new location is built for comfort, both Malik’s and his guests. “I spend a major portion of my life in this space,” he says. “My patients have become friends and I want them to want to visit. I want them to wake up and think, ‘Cool, I get to go shopping for some groovy glasses,’ not ‘I have to go to the doctor today.’” (To which judge Robert Bell replies, “Standing ovation, doctor.”)

PHOTO GALLERY (4 IMAGES)

Five Cool Things About Eyes & Optics

1. INDIE CRED: Most frames run $250 to $500, but there’s a table near the entrance with complete pairs for $149 and another toward the back with closeout deals on frames from Bevel, Chrome Hearts and other premium lines.

2. ACE OF EYES: Malik simulates real-world conditions for musicians and gaming industry pros and players. (“Troubleshooting a progressive lens issue for a blackjack dealer, while sitting at a blackjack table? Genius!” says judge Nate Ogura.)

3. THE WALLS TALK: The decor pops with personality, from vintage rock concert posters and memorabilia for Malik’s own longtime band The Melancholics to a case sporting frames that legendary optician Dennis Roberts made for Elton John and Steve McQueen.

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4. HIGH VISIBILITY: Malik calls a Trader Joe’s across the parking lot his “anchor store.” The grocery brings a lot of curious foot traffic, as does a nearby walking path — and at night, a video monitor showcases celebrity-inspired sunglass choices.

5. ALL-ACCESS: Eyes & Optics’ showroom feels like a club. Clients are ushered into the backstage area for exams in “the green room.” Contact lens patients get fitted at a dressing-room-like table complete with glamorous bulb-style lighting.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID

  • Ray Bradbury once wrote, “Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it… Imagination should be the center of your life.” I suspect he may have written this after he met Dr. Malik. Robert Bell
  • No gamble choosing eyewear here. I had fun just looking at the pictures. Howard Purcell
  • Very brave eclectic mix in decor. Who would think of putting together a neon Ray-Ban sign, concert posters and Magritte’s Le Faux Miroir? But it works wonderfully and achieves a Vegas look from inside and out. Onega Astaltsova

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