Just after the lunch rush Monday, Denise Clark straightened her newly hung business license with a satisfied smile.
After raising her two children and working for nonprofits, Clark, 61, has opened her own business — the Myriad House Coffeehouse & Vintage Shop at 4448 Bell St.
“I want women to know that it isn’t too late. If you still want a career, go for it,” said Clark, who can now make use of her fashion merchandising degree.
For a decade, Clark, along with other volunteers, operated Main Street Cafe, a nonprofit, all-age Midtown venue featuring live rock shows, art and poetry. After it closed, Clark started refurbishing vintage furniture pieces and chandeliers in 2012 and set up an occasional booth in the West Bottoms to sell her pieces.
In late February, she purchased a Victorian-style house that had been turned into a commercial venue with its own parking lot in the 45th and State Line antique and art district.
The coffee shop is Myriad’s main focus — so coffeehouse comes before vintage shop in the title. It sells coffee drinks and Italian sodas, as well as quiche, The Nutty Girl sandwiches and pastries from downtown’s Scratch Bakery + Cafe, along with gelatto.
It also will have special events. It is now taking reservations for a Mother’s Day tea where it will serve tea, tea sandwiches and decorated cupcakes as the movie “My Fair Lady” plays in the second-floor space. It also may add produce stands and flea market booths in the front courtyard when the weather is nice.
Clark’s refurbished pieces are sprinkled throughout the first floor — “shabby chic” furniture pieces, vintage sterling silver coffee and tea sets, garden furniture, decorative pieces and pillows, and her own refurbished “whimsical” chandelier pieces.
She hopes the “vintage shop” portion of the business will grow so much that the name might even switch to “vintage shop and coffeehouse.”
Eddie Delahunt’s Café & had previously operated in the space. But Eddie Delahunt — musician, singer and songwriter — said he closed Cafe & about eight months ago and is now focusing on his music, “playing night and day.”