Comic book store, boutique to open in mall

Eight months ago, Oak Park Mall had 18 open storefronts out of a possible 35. But with two more shops opening this summer, the once half-empty shopping center could have 24 businesses.

Oak Park Mall marketing director Shan Kehret announced the addition of Devriess Boutique, which should open in mid-June, and Legacy Comics and Games, scheduled to open in July.

“I’m very excited to be able to tell the community we have two new stores going into Oak Park Mall, and the mall I believe is starting to be revitalized,” Kehret said. “People need to come out and take a look, and they will be pleasantly surprised about the good things happening.”

Devriess Boutique — which will open next to the Kitchen Warehouse in the former home of Foot Locker — will have a little bit of everything, according to its owner, Casandra Byers. The boutique will offer clothes, shoes, purses, sunglasses, jewelry and more.

“We’re just excited to open something a little bit different,” Byers said.

Legacy Comics and Games owner Joshua Horvat, originally from Austin, said he can’t wait to offer a much needed service to the community; a place for anyone to play Magic the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments, among others.

“We really want to provide a small community center for the gamers in town,” he said.

Horvat, who lives in Minneapolis, said he will offer new and used comic books, anime, specialized board games such as Urban Sprawl, Dominion and Ticket to Ride and expansion packs for games like Settlers of Catan. He said he would also like to provide free Wi-Fi Internet and refreshments. The shop will open in the former home of Cost Cutters near Shopko.

As for the tournaments, Horvat said he will assess what interests local gamers and try to provide tournaments to meet their needs.

“The goal is for anyone to walk in and play a game they want and walk out happy,” he said.

JNK Fried Chicken, originally slated to open in April, should be ready by mid-May, according Kehret, and Sears finished a move to an exterior storefront which doubled its size. Napoli Chocolate, Artistry Weddings and Events, The Kitchen Warehouse, Spirit Bear Academy, Ole Barn BBQ and the Machine Shed have all also opened since September 2011. During that same time, only Family Dollar has closed.

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