West Seattle Vision: About to ‘soft open’ in Morgan Junction

Meet Julia Tran, Michael Chow, and Lisa Hernandez, three of the people you’ll find at the new West Seattle Vision eye clinic that’s about to open at 6505 California SW in Morgan Junction. We stopped by Tuesday to meet them as they finish preparing the new space for a “soft open” later this week. Tran and Chow are optometrists; Hernandez is an optician. Another doctor is on the team but couldn’t join us for the Tuesday chat – Donna Matney, who, Chow points out, is also a published author with her own website.

West Seattle Vision is part of a locally owned mini-chain of clinics owned by Chow – this is the fourth one, and a fifth will open soon at South Lake Union. Each has its own name and identity, but they share doctors; Tran has been working at the company’s Auburn clinic and probably will still keep some hours there for a while.

Chow says she was the inspiration for the West Seattle clinic – they’ve been talking for more than a year about her having her own practice, ideally in this area, which Chow, who lives in Issaquah, has observed is a “cool little community, so tight-knit.”

Asked what will set them apart, the team says their modern technology will be a major factor, as will the time they spend with patients – while many eye exams run about half an hour, Tran explained, “we have 45 minutes.” Meantime, some old trappings of the typical eye exam have fallen away – you don’t need to have your pupils dilated for a doctor to see inside; new technology, they explain, allows photography into the eye so that they can even look “down to the cellular level.” And the process of narrowing down the prescription to correct your vision is “quicker and more efficient” than the old “which is better – one? or two? one? or two?” etc.

Technology also has improved for taking measurements to fit glasses, Hernandez says. And they plan to offer a wide range of frames, including high-end designs, and some full of color, which she says “is huge right now,” as well as a good selection for kids. Coatings are easier to clean, harder to scratch, these days.

And there’s one more place technology comes into the equation – they will offer online appointment-booking, which is accompanied by options including text messaging to remind you of your appointment.

Some things, of course, you just can’t determine technologically. They plan to adjust their hours depending on what their clients request – watching to see whether 9 to 5 makes more sense on weekdays, or maybe 10 to 6, while they’ll start off with one night a week – Wednesdays – open until 7. They say West Seattle Vision will have Saturday hours, too. So keep an eye out for signs of their “soft open,” to be followed by an official grand opening sometime this spring.

P.S.: They won’t be doing major surgery, but they will offer “medical eye care” for relatively minor problems.

Side note: West Seattle Vision’s impending opening is part of some big changes in that commercial building on the west side of California SW, just south of Fauntleroy – Pet Elements also has just opened its new space next door, relocating from a small freestanding building about a block away.

15 Replies to "West Seattle Vision: About to 'soft open' in Morgan Junction"

  • Morgan neighbor May 8, 2013 (2:44 pm)

    Awesome! Glad to hear they will have a good kids’ selection. Hope they carry Miraflex.

  • Yardvark May 8, 2013 (5:46 pm)

    Welcome to the neighborhood!

  • Dakota May 8, 2013 (6:27 pm)

    Morgan neighbor,

    They told me that they will indeed carry Miraflex. It will be great to have a provide right here in West Seattle.

  • OP May 8, 2013 (9:03 pm)

    Welcome to the MJ! I’ll be in soon as I need new glasses!

  • West Seattle Vision May 8, 2013 (9:07 pm)

    Yes Morgan neighbor, Dakota is correct, we will carry Miraflex! Thank you Yardvark, we are very excited to be here!

  • sophista-tiki May 8, 2013 (9:12 pm)

    YAY! I’ll be making an appt soon.

  • Matt May 9, 2013 (8:47 am)

    Will they actually take Insurance? We have a hard time finding anyone that accepts Blue Vision.

  • pam May 9, 2013 (1:43 pm)

    I have had many eye exams by Dr. Tran she is excellent doctor and her makes you feel like family!

  • West Seattle Vision May 9, 2013 (10:28 pm)

    Sorry Matt, we are not providers for Blue Vision. However if we get enough requests, we will definitely look into applying. Currently, we accept Premera, Regence, Vision Service Plan (VSP) and pretty soon United Healthcare and First Choice Network. As a new office, we would love to have you guys drop by and let us know what vision insurances you have. This way we can sign up for the popular health plans in the area. Medicare application is in the works right now. Like us on facebook under West Seattle Vision for more info!

    P.S. Thank you Pam for your support!

  • angela May 10, 2013 (1:12 pm)

    Can we get a phone number please – much easier to call to see if they are up and running – PLEASE POST

  • S. May 10, 2013 (2:25 pm)

    They are NOT open. No “soft open” as this posting says. I just walked by, door is open, three people in there but they said they are not open until Tuesday.

  • S. May 10, 2013 (2:27 pm)

    Looks like my insurance is Eye Med and not something they take. Looks like I will stick to Costco. Too bad. I was excited for a new place so close to home.

  • West Seattle Vision May 10, 2013 (8:13 pm)

    Here’s our number: 206-829-9688
    Thanks for stopping by today S. Sorry we weren’t ready to open. Had a shipping delay from a frame vendor, but we are ready to go now and will be open Tues-Sat next week. Thanks for all of your support West Seattle!

  • Sally Batson May 14, 2013 (12:07 pm)

    Lisa: Pls call me. 206.949.5975. Sal

  • West Seattle Vision May 15, 2013 (8:38 pm)

    We are open! Our hours are as follows:
    Closed Sun-Mon
    Tues 9-5
    Wed 10-7
    Thurs 10-6
    Fri 10-6
    Sat 9-3
    Please come and visit us and a huge Thank You to all who already have!

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