Historic Independence Square

In the heart of Independence Missouri you'll find a makeover taking place with measured purpose, fevered passion and sincere intention to preserve the integrity and rich history of the Independence Square.

For more than 13 years, developers have been populating Harry Truman's old stomping grounds with charming boutiques, shops and seriously fine dining. Today, it is a must see destination and a family fun quick-drive getaway where you'll find something for everyone including a connection with our Kansas City historic roots. 

Formerly the spot where countless thousands of pioneers and emigrants outfitted themselves for their journey west on the Santa Fe, Oregon or California Trails and later the location where President Harry Truman began his political career as Jackson County Presiding Judge. Standing in the center of the square in front of the stately Courthouse you instantly get a sense of our past.

Today, you'll find a collection of businesses the encircle the grand old courthouse, many rebuilt with the preservation of the pre-existing architecture in mind, including a boutique bed and breakfast (formerly the county jail), unique specialty and antique shops and fine or casual dining at one of the many restaurants.

Independence Square, 100 West Lexington, Independence, Mo., www.theindependencesquare.com

1. Clinton's

Clinton's Soda Fountain on the Independence Square is a real historic gem. Grab a stool at the marble bar and experience a moment straight out of history. Decades ago, Harry Truman worked his first job at Crown Drug Store in this very spot. Whether you order Harry's favorite, a butterscotch sundae with chocolate ice cream or a classic phosphate, you are sure to enjoy your visit to this authentic Soda Fountain.

2. Wild About Harry

Wild About Harry is a store chock full of mens accessories & furnishings, and caters to all things men.

3. Gilbery, Whitney & Co.

Housed in the former JCPenny's, Gilbert, Whitney & Co is a kitchen gadget guru's dream. Stocked with the finest cutlery, cookware and an impressive selection of Fiesta Ware, along with thousands of spices, accessories and an impressive cheese counter. This shop has everything to satisfy your every gourmet desire.

4. Uptown Boutique

Loaded with racks and racks of the latest fashions, the Uptown Boutique has established itself as a mecca for fashionistas and a reputation for an inspiring shopping experience. 

At this trendy boutique you'll find a collection of the latest celebrity favorites and a team of helpful fashionistas to help you identify just the right mix of established and newly discovered designers to help you look your very best.

5. Cafe Verona

Step inside Cafe Verona and you feel transported to another place and time. Drawing inspiration from art, history and culinary tradition, this cafe in the heart of the square is full of the romance of Italy.

A fresh menu loaded with dishes full of bold flavor and fresh ingredients. I recommend the salad bistecca, though the pistachio salmon is to die for. A filet with mac-and-cheese or steak Florentine along with a glass of wine or Martini flight from the elegant bar are also a delicious way to go. And don't forget to wind down the meal with a classic Italian gelato.

6. Ophelia's

Often the destination that brings new visitors back to the square, Ophelia's offers an eclectic American menu that has developed an impressive following of notables. Understandably so, with a menu infusion of cultural flavors. Steaks, seafood, duck, and lamb are customer favorites. Chef Marshall Roth says its the layers of flavors that contribute to the buzz worthy dishes we serve. The atmosphere is romantic with live jazz on the weekends and a bountiful Sunday brunch. Be sure to check out the Spa menu items that are both healthful and undeniably tasty.


7. Be Here Now

Upon entering the eclectic one-stop home goods store Be Here Now, you'll likely be greeted by Kenda or Ava, the in-house designers who are eager to inspire you with one of their one-of-a-kind home furnishing finds. Funky, fun and fresh are the words to describe this truly unique boutique where you'll find fabric swatches and paint decks alongside enormous crystal chandeliers, colorful leather seating, sumptuous bedding and awe-inspiring art pieces.