The Story of Ophelia’s
The front of Ophelia’s building was built circa 1907 as the Hillsbrothers Hardware store. The back half of Ophelia’s was built as part of the Katz Drugstore renovation in 1948. Katz drugstore had 175 employees and 13 departments and took up the entire restaurant, banquet area and basement. Among the obvious drugstore departments there was a also a full service snack bar, soda fountain and pet store. Katz operated until around 1974. The building remained empty until it was purchased by Ken and Cindy McClain in 1999.
Ophelia’s – What’s in a Name
The name Ophelia’s comes from a book Cindy was reading at the time they were trying to name the restaurant. The book is called “Reviving Ophelia” and is about raising teenage girls in a society that has made it a great challenge to do so with their self-esteem intact. Hence – “Reviving Ophelia” – reviving the Square. Ken and Cindy felt strongly that the restaurant would make people feel good about not only the Square, but living in Independence as well.
Revitalizing a Community.
With Ophelia’s Restaurant and Inn as the anchor, the opening of that business didn’t happen because the McClain’s wanted to own a restaurant, but instead because of a desire to revive the Independence Square.
The Square is rich with Truman history and seemed a shame to waste. A restaurant seemed like a logical place to start because it can become a destination situation unlike other types of businesses. The desire to revive the Square has grown into a total of 18 businesses (and counting!) since Ken and Cindy began this adventure. With a combination of retail stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, the Independence Square keeps getting better and better!
Hospitality Business of the Year
McClain Restaurant Group
Meet the Chef
Meet Head Chef Spencer Saultz! He’s excited to show you all his new dishes. Previously Chef Saultz was the Sous Chef here at Ophelia’s, working directly with Chef Bobby Stearns – so if you see some familiar things on the menu that you recall from Chef Bobby’s days, that’s because Chef Saultz knows just how to make them. However, now he’s the leader of the kitchen, which gives him even more space than before to flex his creative talents.
We’re happy to discover the new dishes he brings to the table (literally!) and we hope you fall in love with all the flavors he presents to you. Stop in for lunch or dinner at Ophelia’s and find out why we’re one of the most popular stops on the Square!