When Kori Crum took over a retail space in downtown Parkville, she covered the windows while she stocked the store.
But she painted a teaser on the front pane: Welcome to a new dream.
Crum had worked as a mortgage broker for 15 years, and then in finance for an auto dealership for six years. But her 60-hour-plus workweeks left little free time for her two teenagers and new husband. In late 2013, she quit her job without a backup plan.
As a hobby, Crum had done faux painting on furniture pieces and the walls of her friends’ homes. She tried turning it into a business, opening a West Bottoms boutique in late summer 2014. Soon she needed to expand and signed a lease at 113 Main St. in downtown Parkville, her new hometown.
Chaos Boutique opened in mid-April, selling new, vintage, repurposed and antique home decor, as well as some new apparel, accessories and seasonal items. Shoppers might find lamps made from wine bottles, pumpkin peanut butter dog biscuits, a tote from the Betty Ford Center, a flask that looks like a box of tampons, rings made from shotgun shells, and cabinet doors that have been converted into wall hangings.
“It has gone so much better than I expected that it is hard to keep up with the inventory and custom orders,” Crum said.
Crum’s nicknames are “Chaotic” or “Hot Mess Express.”
“Because I am all over the board,” she said. “My husband says I get easily distracted by shiny objects. I can’t go to the store for just one thing. Or if I see something on the side of the road I have to stop.”
Crum also will do custom paint jobs for clients. And she is starting faux painting classes for furniture and furnishings this week. The classes will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Ruins Pub to replace Bulldog
The Bulldog Restaurant & Bar is closing after more than a decade in the Crossroads Arts District.
It is scheduled to close at the end of business on June 6. Owner Dick Snow has signed a new tenant for the 5,400-square-foot space at 1715 Main St., next to Bazooka’s Showgirls.
“I want to lighten my workload a little bit and spend some time with my family,” Snow said. “It was a nice place. I’ve always been proud of the Bulldog, right until the end.”
Snow has had the restaurant and bar for sale for several years but previously turned down several prospective tenants.
“The timing is right, and I found the right tenant,” he said.
Scott Kalwei will remodel the space and plans to open Ruins Pub there by early August. It will be based on the trendy Budapest “ruin bars” — dive bars that are built in the ruins of abandoned buildings.
Ruins Pub will have mismatched furniture, some made by Kalwei, such as an old clawfoot bathtub turned into a loveseat, as well as creative lighting and works by local artists. Old black and white cartoons will be projected on one wall.
It will have 40 self-serve beer taps (where customers pay by radio-frequency identification), and will offer such menu items as sandwiches, specialty hamburgers, salads and Hungarian soups.
Kalwei had been an engineer at the Ford Motor Co. in Claycomo before quitting three years ago to teach English in the Czech Republic and travel throughout Europe. The ruin bars became a favorite stop.
“They are kind of the coolest bars, and a perfect match for the Crossroads,” Kalwei said.
Crowley Furniture has converted one of its former locations into an outlet store. The 22,000-square-foot store — in the Fountains shopping center at 6327 W. 119th St., Overland Park — is carrying sofas, loungers, chairs, mattresses and some bedroom furniture. The items are discounted for a variety of reasons, including special vendor deals, errors in custom orders and scratches or dents.
“We have lots and lots of bargains,” said Greg Crowley, owner.
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