Chalk Garden returns to Salt Lake City
Twelve years after The Chalk Garden closed its doors at Trolley Square, an updated version of the women's clothing shop is set to open on Salt Lake City's Main Street Aug. 1.
Jeff Barnard, whose father John operated the former store, describes the latest edition as "The Chalk Garden reinvented," and is calling it Chalk Garden Co-op.
When the younger Barnard found the new space across Main Street from Forever 21 and City Creek Center, he said he and his father decided the location had an air of familiarity with The Chalk Garden and they felt they had to bring the store back.
"We wouldn't be [doing this] in a regular retail space," Barnard said.
After Barnard and co-owners that include Ty Burrell, an actor in ABC's sitcom "Modern Family," took their wives to the location and got their backing, they began work on the Co-op.
The 5,600-square-foot venue formerly housed a bank and features 16-foot ceilings and marble floors. Two former safes now function as dressing rooms.
"People will relate the space to The Chalk Garden," John Barnard said. "The feeling is very similar."
Jeff Barnard decided to make the newer version of the well-known store a co-op in order to allow Lunatic Fringe Hair Salon, Spa Day and Lanny Barnard Gallery of Park City to share the space. Barnard said he and his partners sought to expand the shopping experience beyond clothing.
"I loved the idea of bringing in things I don't know about," Barnard said.
Store manager Debbie Kotter Barkley joked, "This will be the definition of one-stop shopping."
Barnard said the new Chalk Garden would offer merchandise similar to that of the old store.
"We will still have apparel for a more sophisticated older woman."
Part-time Burrell, who also is partners with Barnard in the classic cocktails club Bar X in Salt Lake City, said the store will provide a local accent to the corner of Main Street that rests in the shadows of City Creek Center.
"It is an extension of us wanting to do something in the community that doesn't already exist," he said.
The former store debuted in 1959 and remained in business until 2000, when the owners decided to retire and abandon the struggling Trolley Square in the wake of the opening of The Gateway shopping center.
The Chalk Garden Co-op will open at 10 a.m. Aug. 1 after a ribbon cutting ceremony and invite-only charity event at 9:30 a.m.
Debut next week
The Chalk Garden Co-op will open at 10 a.m. Aug. 1 The store is at 74 S. Main St., Salt Lake City, across the street from Forever 21 and City Creek Center.