After nearly a quarter century in operation, Prairie Village’s Mission Road Antique Mall has closed for good.
A group of the mall’s managers and longtime vendors gathered this weekend to mark the end of an era with a champagne toast.
“Thanks for the memories!!!,” the company posted on its Facebook account this morning. “It’s over – it really is, but such a great send-off you all gave us. Thank you for 24 years of loyalty, levity and love.”
Owner Casey Ward announced in July that she had decided to wind the operation down at the end of this year after efforts to find a new home ended with the conclusion that it simply wasn’t financially feasible to relocate.
Ward, who started working at the mall as a manager in the late 1990s and then purchased the operation in 2005 after the parent company that owned it went bankrupt, scoured the Kansas City market for a possible new site for the mall. But, after learning that it would cost around $1 million to rehab another local space for the mall, she determined the risk would just be too great.
“I didn’t want to give up the hope. I didn’t want to give up the dream,” Ward said of the decision this summer. “I’m not going to take other people’s money if I can see that this isn’t going to work. Because it was going to be a huge undertaking. Huge.”
First opened in 1994, the mall housed hundreds of independent antiques dealers, who rented space to sell their wares. It also was the site of the long-running and popular Bloomsbury Bistro, which closed in 2016 after 15 years as a lunch respite for antiques shoppers. (The Courtyard Cafe replaced Bloomsbury in the lunchroom space, which was taken over by Joe’s Cellar last year).
The mall is housed in a building that includes part of the old barn that was part of the Woolford Farms horse training operation in the 1930s. Woolford produced Lawrin, who won the Kentucky Derby in 1938. Lawrin is the only Kansas-bred horse to win the derby.
The mall property is owned by First Washington Realty out of Bethesda, Mary. A representative of the company told the Prairie Village city council in recent weeks that it was continuing to look at options for the redevelopment of Corinth Square South.