William “Bill” Spangler, opened Sleep Shop in the Prairie Village Shopping Center in August 1955, selling fine linens and bedding. After just six months of operations, it moved to an expanded space at 6927 Tomahawk Road, Prairie Village, where it has remained.
But it evolved into a store selling gifts and home accessories, as well as one of the first area shops to sell Vera Bradley handbags. Spangler said the name changed to just Spangler’s about 30 years ago to reflect the change in merchandise.
Now Spangler, 94, is retiring after 62 years and the shop will close once inventory is sold out. With a ‘retirement sale’ discount of 25 percent, merchandise is going fast.
In a statement, Nancy Henry, who has been manager of the shop for more than 40 years, said the marketplace has changed “dramatically, particularly in the past 20 years.”
“Being a locally-owned, single location store is not a favorable proposition in today’s rapidly evolving retail business climate where ‘The Internet of Things’ makes shopping available 24 hours, 7 days a week.... our most vexing problem is parking demand. The higher traffic storefronts, like the U.S. Post Office and a new children’s activity center, means that our customers have had difficulty finding parking space. We have enjoyed tremendous customer support through the years. Our customers — and many of their dogs — are like an extended family.”
At one time, Spangler’s had locations in The Landing, Antioch Center and in Raytown, Henry said.
Spangler still comes in most days, except for Sunday, his day off. He plans to now spend his retirement enjoying his hobbies such as reading and walking. He’s also looking forward to the birth of his first great-grandson, who is scheduled to arrive in late May.
The Prairie Village Shopping Center also recently lost two other long-time tenants. Bruce Smith Drugs closed in January after six decades in the shopping center. Tiffany Town closed in late February after 52 years and officially moved out Monday night but had their final walk through with the landlord on March 7.
Officials with First Washington Realty Inc., owners of the center, declined to comment on Spangler’s closing.
Beverly White, who has shopped at Spangler’s since she moved to the area in 1967, stopped by Monday to give Henry a hug.
“It’s disheartening. The center is not what it used to be. They need more shops like Spangler’s,” she said.
Coming to Lawrence
▪ Kieltyka’s Stonewall Inn was a Lenexa landmark before shutting its doors in early 2012.
Now Joe Kieltyka and a partner will open Stonewall Restaurant and Pizzeria in mid-March at 1008 Massachusetts in Lawrence.
It will offer house-made pizzas, sandwiches, salads, bread and appetizers such as chicken fingers, as well as pan-fried chicken and steaks.
▪ PT’s Coffee Roasting Co. plans to open at 1101 Indiana in Lawrence by June. It also is looking at opening two more area locations — perhaps in the Country Club Plaza area and Overland Park — later this year.
The Topeka-based PT’s also recently acquired Bird Rock Coffee Roasters of San Diego. Jeff Taylor, co-founder and chief executive officer of PT’s, has relocated to San Diego to lead the team and will work with Chuck Patton, founder of Bird Rock, who will be head coffee buyer.