About 30 years ago, Dawn Brooks worked in Englewood at the Petey Childers pharmacy.

About 30 years ago, Dawn Brooks worked in Englewood at the Petey Childers pharmacy.

Now, Brooks owns a small business in the historic Independence shopping district that’s undergoing a facelift.

“It’s kind of cool to see it coming back around again,” Brooks said inside her “weird beer and wine” business Cork & Barrel at 10819 E. Winner Road. The 3-year-old shop relocated from U.S. 24 to Englewood in early December.

The move took place, Brooks said, because of the district’s new designation as an arts district and that Brooks is now able to sell art along with her main products.

“I think everybody in Englewood has a common goal to make this a very exciting place to come to,” Brooks said. “I think all of the businesses here work together to see that that’s going to happen.”

A number of changes have taken place since the Independence City Council approved Englewood as an arts district nearly six months ago. A handful of new businesses have moved in – and some are still planning to do so – in a once-thriving area that has long thirsted for a rejuvenation.

Mark Isnard-Murray said he had no idea of Englewood’s art district designation when he and three co-owners, Travis Isnard-Murray, Doug Gabbert and Ken Lauck, decided to open A Page in Time Antiques, 10914 E. Winner Road, in late 2011.

The gallery and tea shop has already experienced two Third Friday Art Walks in Englewood, and Mark called the area “a perfect fit for what we wanted to do.”

“I like the fact that the art district is really taking hold, and everybody is kind of multi-spectrum on a lot of stuff to do and being able to offer,” Mark said. “It was a chance for us to offer more than just an antique shop.”

Englewood has changed from its heydays of the 1940s and 1950s when it offered several grocery stores, a bakery, a camera shop, a post office, a Ben Franklin store and a dry cleaner.

The past several months, however, have seen a resurgence with new businesses, including Detour Coffee Shop adjacent to the Englewood Theatre (which reopened for a showing of “The Sound of Music” during the winter holidays) and the anticipated late April opening of a shopping/restaurant space, Vivilore.

“I know myself, I would much rather shop in a smaller place, even if I have to pay a little bit more, and have when you walk in the door, people say, ‘Hi, I know you,’” said Diane Houk, executive director of the Puppetry Arts Institute along East Winner Road. Houk also grew up in Englewood during its glory days. “That’s what Englewood can offer people is that feeling of community, that you’re known.”

While the Third Friday Art Walks bring in lots of foot traffic from both Independence and surrounding cities, Mark Isnard-Murray said he wishes more shoppers would stop by all week long instead of one day a month.

“There’s something going on all the time,” he said. “A lot of the businesses are looking at extending their hours a little bit more than they would have to try to continue to get some of that traffic.”

Mark said he also feels encouraged by the upcoming streetscape project along Winner Road, from Northern Avenue to Sterling Avenue, which will consist of widening the sidewalk, adding trees and new curb enhancements.

“Now, we’re kind of reinventing ourselves,” Houk said. “I just think that people enjoy that feeling that this is a little community that people can join and they can be part of.”