This time David Daly was more careful.
In 1980, Daly, who had just finished optometry school and was ready to open his first practice, arranged to rent space at 2278 Como Ave., the location now occupied by Gustafson’s Jewelers.
“I was poking around and discovered that a nice brick wall had been covered over,” he said. “I thought that brick would look nice if it were cleaned up.”
Daly arranged to have the wall sandblasted. What he didn’t account for was that dust would get into the ventilating system and be carried to the adjacent dentist’s office, where it made a mess and fouled some instruments.
“They were nice about it,” Daly said, “but it wasn’t a very good first impression.”
Daly operated Village Optics at that location for five years, then moved his office to Rice Street. He opened a second office in Calhoun Square in 1990. When he closed the Rice Street operation five years ago, he began looking for another St. Paul location.
That search eventually led him back to St. Anthony Park, where he recently opened Eyedeals, which he describes as “a neighborhood eye clinic.” The new facility is located at 2309 Como Ave., just across the street and a half block west of Daly’s first office.
Turning the new space into an eye clinic meant stripping things down to the foundation. This time, however, the adjacent businesses didn’t have to clean up any dust.
Eyedeals is a complete eye care clinic, including a display of fashionable frames. In addition to routine eye exams, Daly sees patients for various ailments, such as glaucoma. He also provides follow-up eye care after surgery.
Eyedeals is a joint venture between Daly and his wife, Kate, a potter. Kate Daly helped design the new facility, and she’ll use part of it as displace space for three-dimensional art.
Although the Dalys have lived in St. Anthony Park since 1985, they’ve been gratified by the many people who have welcomed them to the community now that their new business is open.
“We want to be responsive to the neigborhood,” said David Daly.
As an example, he mentioned that a number of new visitors to the clinic have suggested adding children’s eyewear.
“We heard that message,” he said, “and we’ll be making the change soon.”
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