by Linda Ayres
This October, Uptown Vision celebrates its 25th anniversary in Cleveland Park.
Its owner, Dr. Steven Schneid, grew up in New York City and Miami. He worked at a hospital, volunteered in a dental office and then at an optometrist before discovering his interest in optometry After working as an optician at a corporate chain, he enrolled in the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago.
Dr. Schneid opened his first practice in Virginia, later added Takoma Park, and, in 1993, opened his Cleveland Park business. He worked seven days a week, making a circuit of all three locations before dropping things off at the lab. “When I opened here in Cleveland Park,” he remembers, “there was nothing like it in the neighborhood and there was a nice complement of businesses nearby.”
The name Uptown Vision reflects the fact that the practice is in the Uptown Theater building and that the nearby Klingle Bridge just south of the store is a dividing line between downtown and uptown. Schneid, an antiques collector, selected the over-sized eyeglass frames—reminiscent of 19th-century signage for an eyeglass store—for his storefront signage.
Dr. Schneid closed the Virginia location to spend more time with his family, and reduced his days working for the same reason. His Cleveland Park business remains consistently strong. Most of his patients come in for medical eye care and laser vision correction as well as glasses and contact lenses.
“Cleveland Park is community-based, with great small business support,” says Dr. Schneid, praising the work of the Cleveland Park Business Association, of which he is a member. In his 25 years in Cleveland Park, he has watched people grow up, move to the suburbs to raise children, and then return as empty nesters. He says, “Cleveland Park is like a phoenix. It keeps rising from the ashes and getting stronger. It is deep-rooted in its character. People feel at home when they shop here.”