Monday, January 6, 2014

The Surprises of Independence Square by Chris

I visited Independence Square over the holidays and what a delightful surprise!  I think the last time I was there was during Santa-Cali-Gon days about eight years ago but I have been in the neighborhood for Leila’s Hair Museum (truly one of the most interesting and bizarre museums around . . . but by the end, you almost want to own a piece of this by-gone art) or to eat at Ophelia’s.  But more about that place in a sec.

Anyway, back to Christmas – the old fashioned square was just lit up everywhere and the spirit of the season pervasive.  It’s always friendly there; at Christmas time it is practically effusive.  Too many of us overlook Independence other than the Truman connection, which is indeed worthwhile, from the Library to his home to even a walking trail. Independence also has lots of events going on all the time, places to see like museums and historic homes, major events almost all year long, a fun old-time drug store, bowling, too; but the Square is also a tiny little foodie mecca.

It includes everything from serve yourself yogurt to pizza to breakfast in a bakery to, especially, Ophelia’s.  One of my very first food articles was about Ophelia’s – back in 2000, when the restaurant had been open two years, taking over a space that once was a hardware store, then a Katz Drug Store, and then vacant for many years.  It was the first “real” restaurant (there are several now) on the Square and it was early in Independence Square’s resurgence. It’s still modern looking, still funky enough to catch your interest, and the food still great enough to reward your trip east. Ophelia’s menu is extensive, eclectic, and delicious – and even  less expensive than comparable restaurants in the “big city.”   For instance, chateaubriand is less than $30; two “lollipop” lamb ribs (an appetizer) are just $12; creative pork dishes start at $17; the list is extensive, from fish to meat to veggies only.  Oh, and good drinks, good wine. Next, I’m trying their Sunday brunch which I’m assuming will be just as terrific as their lunch and dinners.


One of my REAL resolutions for 2014 is to take more time for the people and places I love.  It doesn’t take much time to get to Independence – it’s a really worthwhile tiny trip which will end up surprising you!

201 North Main, Independence, MO 64050
Located on the Historic Independence Square
 816- 461-4525


Ophelia's Restaurant & Inn on Urbanspoon

7 comments :

Independence Square said...

Thanks for the wonderful article Chris! You are welcome to come and enjoy the Square anytime!

Jodi Krantz said...

Be sure to come back for the second annual "Independence Uncorked" Wine Festival on September, 13th from 1pm-6pm on the grounds of the grand Bingham-Waggoner estate.
https://www.facebook.com/IndependenceUncorked

Anonymous said...

So glad you mentioned Leila's Hair Museum. Truly an exciting place to visit.

Don and Barbara P. said...

Living in Independence used to mean going to "downtown" or the Plaza to get a great meal. Now we save time and fuel by patronizing as good or better restaurants in Independence.

Gary A said...

Chris- Wow! All the way to Independence! Unfortunately we don't have many unfranchised choices but Ophelia's and the others on the Square deserve patronage. Jodi's comment re: Uncorked is spot on. The event really exceeded expectations in every way.

Gary A said...

Nice road trip Chris! Since we have so few unfranchised restaurants out east, Ophelia's and others on the Square deserve patronage. Jodi's comment about the Uncorked is spot on. The event exceeded expectations in every way.

Anonymous said...

Rheinland German Restaurant on Independence Square is comfort food at its best!

Try the Beef Lover with Hot Potato Saland. Mmmmmmm!!