Diamond center offers more than just jewelry

Jeff Weiss wants to make the experience of buying jewelry for that special someone comfortable.

It's a very comfortable place. Customers don't feel like they're customers. They feel like they're friends, and that's my goal, said Weiss, a lifetime Niskayuna resident and CEO of Glennpeter Jewelers Diamond Center, based in Colonie.

The new flagship store opened on Central Avenue in Colonie in November and has some unique features: it is the only jewelry store in the United States with a party room " an idea Weiss' daughter, Dayva, came up with " and it is also the only jewelry store in New York State to have a liquor license. There is an in-store bar that serves wine, beer and other refreshments to customers to make their experience a little more enjoyable, with a plasma screen television in the background that is always on a sports channel. There's also a gas fireplace with comfortable chairs seated around it where people can relax. Weiss serves sushi after 4 p.m. several nights a week for whoever wants to drop in for some Japanese food and a complimentary beverage.

But don't worry " the company's goal isn't to intoxicate you so that you buy more jewelry.

"I took the course from New York state on correctly running a bar and how to makes sure that everyone is carded. We limit the quantities [we serve] because we are a jewelry store," said Weiss.

The inspiration for the in-store bar came from a trip that Weiss took to the Bahamas. He noticed that many of the jewelry stores had bars where they served wine to their customers. He liked this touch and wanted to bring it back to the area, so he did. Weiss invested over $5 million into his new flagship store.

"We built the store. It's a tough time [for the economy], but we went ahead and we believe in this area," said Weiss.

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