In the words of the late Dr. Daniel Messinger, whose daughter and granddaughter now helm Philadelphia Eyeglass Labs, “We’ve been doing this for 100 years—we must be doing something right.” Overseen by the fourth and fifth generation of family that founded the company in 1888, the sense of history carries over into its opticians’ daily practice—they’ve been seeing many of their clients for decades, and bestow fast emergency services upon them whenever a client damages a lens or tries to stretch their frames to fit a family portrait inside. The personalized attention heaped upon each customer shines through in the services provided, which include technicians that grind and surface all lenses on-site in the flagship location’s lab, often fitting them into frames for next-day pick-up.
French native Valerie Vittu created Margot & Camille Optique to pair clients with the European frame styles popular in her home country. Drawing from her experience working for designer Alain Mikli on Madison Avenue, Valerie selects unique, nonbranded eyewear that sets trends rather than follows them. Past designs have included efforts from Alain Mikli, Lafont, and Tom Davies's made-to-order Couture Horn collection of natural horn-rimmed frames. A hands-on presence in her shop, Valerie helps clients pick frames that fit their faces and styles, and she happily offers extended hours by appointment to accommodate clients who spend every daylight hour holding mirrors to the sky to see how the sun likes glare in its eyes.
Inside this immaculate Victorian Italianate building in Rittenhouse Square, optometrist Alissa Coyne conducts eye examinations alongside a dedicated staff of opticians and eyewear experts. Two show rooms display a selection of more than 2,500 frames by fashionable brands such as Salt. Optics or Oliver Peoples. Lens types range from standard plastic to Transitions-brand options that change tint when going from indoors to outdoors, and prescription and nonprescription sunglasses shield pupils from the sun's harmful rays and annoying habit of never wearing clothes.
A sextet of experienced eye doctors helms Family Eye Care's three locations. There, the doctors lead their teams in warmly accepting patients for services such as comprehensive eye exams, 24-hour emergency eye care, and glaucoma treatments. In addition to ocular services, each location lines its walls with myriad frame choices from designer brands such as Gucci, Brooks Brothers, or Versace. Clients can gain peace of mind from broken specs or faulty x-ray vision with Family Eye Care's two-year unlimited warranty on select frames and lenses.
Perch like a provocative peacock under scarlet-hued umbrellas studding the expansive patio during the summer months, or retreat inside and cozy up with a hazelnut cappuccino ($3.90/medium). Capriccio offers a full drink menu that doesn't discriminate against temperature, only extraterrestrials. Enjoy lattes ($3.50/med.), mochas ($3.90/med.), and chai tea ($3.35/med.) served hot or cold, flavored or unflavored. If the taste of a Ghirardelli mocha frappe ($4/med.) only brings back memories of the last time you ordered a Ghirardelli mocha frappe, time travel your taste buds further back to childhood with steamed milk flavored with your syrup of choice. A vanilla-seasoned cup is just like drinking liquid marshmallows ($3.35–4.20). Breakfast treats—including crumb cake ($2.25), yogurt loaves ($2.50), and danishes ($2.75)—call out enticingly from their glass case like the three Sirens at the Philadelphia Zoo. Lunch eats include crisp salads ($6 and up), plus grilled panini and regular sandwiches ($5 and up).
Since its opening in 2000, Omega Optical has sold designer frames in both classic and cutting-edge styles. At the Cheltenham Mall and Comcast Center locations, certified Doctors of Optometry perform routine preventive care and measure patients for prescriptions. Customers can then explore the store's collection, which includes glasses and sunglasses from Tom Ford, Alain Mikli, Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Kazuo Kawasaki, and more. To help them decide on a pair, staffers show them frames that complement both their lifestyle and face shape, whether it resembles an oval, a square, or a Spanish galleon. Omega maintains a close connection to the community around them; the Omega Optical Scholarship Foundation raises funds for local college-bound students.