Truly, it is the end of an era in downtown Great Neck Plaza, the heart of the community’s business and shopping district. Dan’s State of the Art Beauty closed it’s doors for the last time on New Year’s Eve. The highly popular shop, owned by Paul Litner for 38 years, finished its long run as Litner retired.
Litner, a deceivingly young 83-years-old, built his already missed business from a wholesale beauty supply store he purchased in 1976, to a full-service specialty retail boutique offering cosmetics, beauty supplies, fragrances, skin and hair care products and many coveted gift items.
“Of all the experiences I’ve had at Dan’s Beauty, the wonderful people I’ve met over the years have meant the most,” Litner told the Great Neck Record. “Seeing customers enjoy shopping at the store and then sharing their experiences with their own children years later has been especially rewarding.”
Litner relished serving generations of families. “I’ve seen teenagers shop at the store, get married and have children, and then come back with their own teenagers to shop. The shopping experience has carried over from generation to generation.”
One of the truly memorable experiences for Litner has been meeting customers during his travels. “I was in Hong Kong many years ago and there I was walking on Nathan Road in front of the Peninsula Hotel when a customer ran over to me and said, ‘I know who you are…I buy my nail polish and cosmetics at Dan’s.’”
In addition to the customers at Dan’s Beauty, the dedication of longtime manager Silvia Zeller has been a true anchor behind the store’s success, according to Litner. “Silvia has been with me for more than 20 years and her warm, personalized attention and passionate service to customers has played an instrumental role at Dans Beauty,” he said.
In addition to being a longtime store owner in the Plaza, Litner has also been a longstanding advocate of the Great Neck business community and he is a former member of the Business Improvement District (BID). His contribution to the Great Neck community has not gone unnoticed. In 2011, Litner received a Robert E. Freedman Retailer of the Year Award from the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce for his dedication to customized service and bringing a “New York” caliber shopping experience to the town.
Looking ahead to 2015 and beyond, traveling will play an important role in Litner’s plans as he looks forward to spending more time taking trips with his wife, Judy. He also looks forward to spending more time enjoying his friends and family, which include his children and seven grandchildren.
(Rachel Litner contributed to the story.)