Beloved downtown optical business to close in Fire Blocks District

·2 min read

Aug. 17—Downtown Dayton Optical is closing after more than 13 years of operation in the Fire Blocks District, which patrons say is a big loss for a busy section of the city that has been recently transformed by small, independent businesses like the affordable eyewear shop.

The Dayton Daily News was unable to immediately reach owner Kevin Harrington for comment, but multiple customers said the business is closing and they were told it was due to health issues.

Downtown Dayton Optical opened in April 2009 at 112 E. Third St. in downtown Dayton, and it quickly gained a loyal customer base and a reputation for inexpensive prices.

When it opened, Harrington said he sold frames for $10 and complete eyeglasses for about $40.

More recently, his shop sold single-vision glasses for $40 (or two pair for $60), and two pairs of lined bi-focals for $100.

The business a few years ago said it had more than 10,000 frames in stock.

Harrington made and fitted the glasses himself — a talent he learned when he worked as an apprentice at West Milton Optical in West Milton.

Workers at Downtown Dayton Optical have been handing customers business cards for West Milton Optical. They say the prices are similar for their future eyewear needs.

Some customers say they have been told they need to pick up their glasses right away because the store is closing. Frames that once lined the walls of the business have been taken down.

Theresa Nash, 67, of Dayton said she heard good things about Downtown Dayton Optical last year from a friend.

She said she purchased about four pairs of glasses from the store then, and she just bought six more pairs.

She said the six pairs cost $500, which is very cheap. She said she once paid $700 for a single pair of glasses.

"They do excellent work, and I hate to hear they are closing," she said.

Nash said with the shop closing she may have to take longer trips to West Milton for her eyewear needs.