By Sarah Kuper
The Dandé Lion shop in Mountain Brook Village is a favorite for Over the Mountain seekers of classic furnishings.
But the much-loved store soon will vacate its space at the intersection of Lane Park Road and Cahaba Road after 45 years at the location.
The shop will remain a fixture of the village as it moves only a few streets away to Canterbury Road.
While the move may require some careful packaging of fragile furnishings, shop owner Joann Long said that’s no problem. The problem is fitting her current inventory into the new, smaller space.
That’s why, lucky for customers, Long is offering deep discounts on fine wares during the Dandé Lion moving sale.
“I need my customers to come now because I have less square footage over there,” Long said, “I have over 500 lamps in here and I cannot physically have 500 lamps over there. I can probably have 410 if I really work at it.”
Besides lamps, The Dandé Lion stocks accessories such as bookends, pillows and gifts. Porcelain creatures, elegant frames and serving pieces are tucked in among antique trunks, etageres, chests of drawers and sideboards.
The shop offers china, crystal and flatware along with silk florals. The Dandé Lion also stocks the much sought after Byar’s Choice carolers for Christmas décor.
Long said the move was sparked by the new Lane Parke shopping development. She said there were rumors of her having a bad attitude toward the property’s owners because of the changes, but she said that wasn’t true.
“I always said the owner of the property had the right to do what he wanted to do,” Long said, “It is just the way life goes and you just move on along.”
Long has bittersweet emotions about leaving the old shopping center behind because it is a reminder of simpler times.
“This was a very unique set up. You had everything you needed: drug store, grocery store, dime store, a dress shop, a coffee shop, a book store, the liquor store, the post office and the Dandé Lion,” Long said, “The only thing you couldn’t have done on this sidewalk was go to the doctor.”
She said she believes that type of old-fashioned arrangement is a thing of the past, but she’s happy the business her mother started almost 50 years ago will be a part of Canterbury Road’s shopping options.
Long hopes to have her new shop open by June. For now, she is trying to sell as much merchandise as she can. She said she has seen a lot of support and business from loyal customers, but she is hoping to draw from a wider clientele.
Long said she knows it is harder to draw in younger shoppers simply because they do most of their shopping online.
“We can beat online prices most all the time and you can take it home and try it, not have to worrying about unboxing it or putting it together,” she said.
Shopping on site also means customers can ask questions about merchandise and ask for help, said Long, who takes pride in her store’s customer service. And The Dandé Lion will take care of shipping items if necessary.
The moving sale is on until the shop relocates. Sale items are cash or check only.