“There’s many different activities, and you can rattle them off, that to be at the top of your game, the maximum, requires a different piece of eyewear,” said Leroy Herszman, Sunglass & Optical co-founder. “We have those. If it’s cycling, golf, boating or fishing — we have those. Whatever their activity is, we can fulfill that need.”
Located behind the San Diego Sports Arena just off Kurtz Street in the Midway District, Sunglass & Optical was founded by Herszman and Max Phelps in 1985. The business started with a booth at Kobey’s weekly Swap Meet.
Services provided by Sunglass & Optical include: Three in-house optometrists; high-end, exclusive brands such as Fachia, Gucci, Christina Dior, etc.; eyeglass frames made from exotic materials and ultra-light space-age materials; a complete line of sports and lifestyle sunglasses for baseball, tennis, fishing, cycling, skiing, water sports, and safety; single-vision in-house replacement lens services for sunglasses and prescription sunglasses, plus repair services; and polarized sunglasses from Ray Ban, Costa, Spy, Maui Jim, etc.
When it comes to sunglasses and optics, Herszman noted there are two distinct seasons. “Daylight savings time — and not,” he said. “Roughly four months out of the year it gets dark earlier.”
Why is that important?
“Are you thinking sunglasses (in winter),” asked Herszman asking, “Are you thinking umbrellas when it’s not raining? The majority of people go to work, and they’re driving in the dark. Those are the people who buy sunglasses.”
Of their business model, Herszman commented, “What we’re trying to convey to our customers is that, when you’re buying this stuff, if you come to somebody who knows the difference, then you’ll walk away with a better result for the rest of your life.”
Sunglass eyewear is especially important for active recreationalists, said Herszman citing an example.
“You’re cycling sunglasses should be different,” he said. “If you’re on the road and there’s an oily spot, if you have polarized lenses, you won’t see it. It will look flat, like everything else. You want to let that in. It’s always better to be able to see it, than not.”
What Sunglass & Optical offers can’t be found online.
Why? Because you can’t try stuff online over the internet, said Herszman.
“You don’t have any guidance,” he pointed out. “You can’t tell about the air situation, whether or not light is going to creep in. That’s not something you can tell until you try them on. You want somebody to guide you through it.”
Non-prescription sunglass eyewear at Sunglasses & Optical ranges from about $90 to $300, with $150 to $200 being about the median price. Prescription sunglasses are also available, with the cost varying due to a variety of factors.
Sunglass & Optical
Where: 3450 Kurtz St., Suite D.
Info: sunsetoptical.com, 619-291-4810.