Goodbye to a gem: The island’s downtown is about to lose some sparkle. Vic’s Estate & Fine Jewelry, 2413 Market St., is closing, owner Sharon Levy Pagan reports.

Look for the shop, which opened downtown in 1929, to commence a closing sale Wednesday; the sale is expected to last through January and possibly through February.

Pagan, who has been at the helm of the family business for 16 years, plans to clear out her safes and make available jewelry pieces that have never been displayed in the showroom.

Pagan, whose son Stewart recently graduated from college, decided it was a good time consider a new career path, she said.

She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and has maintained her certification as a psychological associate. But she hasn’t yet decided on her next career move, she said.

Pagan’s maternal grandparents, Victor and Helen Reiswerg, launched the business 84 years ago, working side by side for years.

Pagan’s mother, Sara Reiswerg Levy, eventually took over the shop and was believed to be the first woman in the county to have graduated from the Gemological Institute of America in the early 1980s.

Pagan said she was grateful for her loyal customers.

Store hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and by appointment. For information, call 409-762-5792. 

Marchi Travel travels: Meanwhile, after operating for years on the East End, Marchi Travel Service, which is marking 90 years of continuous service, has packed its bags and moved to 2724 61st St. in the shopping center that houses Cricket and is across the street from sandwich shop Quiznos.

Marchi Travel Service had been at 501 Holiday for years. But it moved from its old building to make way for a doctor’s office. Marchi Travel Service’s office has easy access from either direction on 61st Street, owners said.

Look soon for more information about a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the move, planned sometime for early December.

Call 409-762-2612 or visit for information.

Got it there: Another island business has made a move. And packing should have been a cinch. The UPS Store has reopened at 6341 Stewart Road, report owners Susie and Ted Gillis.

The UPS Store, which offers packing, shipping and other services, moved from its 6023 Ave. S. location after 10 years to make way for expansion of Odyssey Academy, 6013 Stewart Road. Odyssey owns the property.

For information about The UPS Store, call 409-741-1400.

Brush stroke of genius? In another sign the island’s art scene is growing, James and Elizabeth George plan to open The Artists’ Studio, 1902 Ave. N., in a building that for years was home to a corner meat market operated by the Vaiani family.

The couple earlier this year purchased and completely renovated the building. The dramatic transformation, achieved by contractor Johnny Garcia, included removing a massive walk-in freezer.

The redo resulted in a serene space for artists to work. The studio can accommodate up to 10 artists. Rent per artist is $300 a month with all utilities paid. Month-to-month leases are available. The Artists’ Studio offers lockers and space to store items. Although some artists find it ideal to paint alone, others might enjoy communal space, Elizabeth George, also an artist, said.

“Being an artist is an extremely lonely profession,” she said. “This could be an extremely positive experience.”

Some artists who don’t have studios might find paying for a space keeps them focused and productive, she said. Working at home might bring too many distractions, she said.

The Artists’ Studio isn’t a gallery and doesn’t plan to compete with any, she said. It’s simply studio space for rent.

The couple lives in Austin but owns an island home on Ball Street. James George, an attorney, practices law in Austin but also has office space above the studio.

Look for a grand opening from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 23. Preleasing is available. For information, call 512-217-1994.

Coming Thursday: What’s the construction timeline for Dunkin’ Donuts’ League City store? Should the north county brace for hundreds of new rooftops? Read about that buzz and more in Thursday’s Biz Buzz.

Laura Elder is a reporter for The Daily News. Biz Buzz appears Tuesdays and Thursdays. Email your tips and suggestions to

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