Carrie Rengers

Eyewear Junkie opens in Wichita this weekend

To look inside the new Eyewear Junkie at the Village at Greenwich at 21st and Greenwich, you might at first think the shop has something to do with rock ’n’ roll, not glasses.

That’s because there’s loud music pumping, street graffiti on one wall and orange and neon green colors and reflective wallpaper on the others. There’s a giant Rubik’s Cube as a coffee table between two bright blue sofas in front of a wall of speakers, some of which are decorative.

“It’s a little bit different use of color than our Specs studios,” says co-owner Jason Bell.

He and Monte Ysidro, who also own a chain of Specs Eyewear stores, first started the Eyewear Junkie concept a year ago when they converted their Derby store at 1918 N. Rock Road from Specs to the new concept.

Bell says they made the change to target millennials. He says they don’t seem as interested in brand names.

“That’s kind of what drove the concept initially, but then we found the concept resonated with all different ages, not just the young millennials,” he says.

“It turns out 70-year-olds love our store in Derby.”

The new Eyewear Junkie is celebrating its opening weekend in 1,400 square feet between Edible Arrangements and Mattress Hub in the same building as Meddys.

Bell isn’t concerned that Specs will suffer with Eyewear Junkie’s popularity.

“I don’t think this is going to be for everybody. People will still want those brand names – some people.”

Bell says Eyewear Junkie is a little more casual than Specs.

“It’s a little more fun,” he says. “Especially with the graffiti wall.”

The quality of the glasses is still high, Bell says.

“We’ve done a really good job of keeping the glasses cool. … Some of the detailing is still fantastic. It’s just beautiful. It’s just not a brand name.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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