On the Independence Square, one store moves and a restaurant remodels. Near the Square, Lady Lady opens again. Linens 'n Things closing its doors.

The owners of Be Here Now, an Independence Square home decor and design center, have moved to another location on the Square. The store, which was at 104 W. Maple Ave., moved to 205 W. Lexington Ave. and opened last week. The new store, at 8,000 square feet, allows for more design center and showroom space, said Cindy McClain, who owns the store with her husband, Ken.

“Furniture was becoming a bigger feature in the store,” she said. The new store features a design center where shoppers can browse home decor catalogs featuring a variety of styles, including French, contemporary, shabby chic and reproduction antiques, she said. The area even features work tables with pens, paper and grid paper for drawing up floor plans. The store’s personnel can order one-of-a-kind furniture.

The store now features bedding, and its inventory of dishware has been increased to include items previously offered at Gilbert, Whitney & Company, another McClain property on the Square. The specialty grocery store, at 104 N. Liberty St., also offers cooking classes. McClain said the elimination of dishware would allow for more space for such classes.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and the store will have expanded hours until 7 p.m. beginning June 1.

Angel Lady takes wing
Carolyn Pratt, owner of the Angel Lady store near the Square, has claimed a “new halo.” During the last few months, she has gone from owning the store she opened nearly 20 years ago at 216 S. Spring St., to selling it, to owning it once again.

Her new calling began 10 years ago, when she met Shirley Riggs, a young mother who created beautiful clay-baked angels that she meticulously painted. Pratt, whose store features tiny decorative items to huge pieces, all with wings, put a few of the creations on sale in her store. She recently met up with Riggs once again, this time a struggling mother of four. 

Pratt took a giant leap in deciding to reopen her shop. She had sold 95 percent of her inventory just after Christmas in preparation to sell the store to a buyer who backed out at the last minute. When she recently became reacquainted with Riggs, she decided to offer her a position as an “artist in residence” who also could help run the store.

“I just feel like an angel’s been tapping me on the shoulder,” she said, adding that she had been wondering what to do once her store had closed.

The Angel Lady will be opened from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. In October, store hours will be expanded to allow for opening daily, with Sunday hours from noon to 4 p.m.

The Angel Lady now will offer several new amenities, in addition to demonstrations and special orders by Riggs, Pratt said. She is negotiating with several local artists to create angel-based pieces. In addition, Pratt, a college art major, will create pieces of jewelry featuring angels. She’s designing a necklace for older fingers that fumble with traditional clasps.

“I never had the time before,” she said. “I’m not sure I have the time now ...” 

Linens ’n Things closing
It’s a sign of the economic times. Linens ‘n Things, with a location at 19950 E. Jackson Drive in Independence, will close.

The parent company of Linens ‘n Things filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will close 120 stores nationwide, including all five in the Kansas City area. A manager at the Independence store specializing in home furnishings confirmed the store’s closing, but did not know a time frame or say how many employees work at the location. She referred further questions to the Linens Holding Co. in Clifton, N.J., which did not return phone calls.

New look for Ophelia’s
Ophelia’s, another Independence Square location, is getting a makeover just in time to celebrate the restaurant’s 10th anniversary. A new chef is whipping up new dishes to coordinate with changes on the menu.

The restaurant at 206 N. Main St., has an updated bar area, and light fixtures throughout have been modified. A meeting room in the back of the restaurant is getting new French doors for added privacy during special events.