E.P. Boutique will be the first tenant in the newly constructed strip center at Wabash and Meadowbrook Avenue. Evan Lloyd Architects prepared the plans for the 9,000-square-foot center at 4300 W. Wabash Ave. and developer Steve Zhao broke ground in December.

Owner Tammy Griffin said the shutdowns related to COVID-19 actually worked in her favor, allowing time for the business to move from its current location in The Gables.

“We signed a contract with Steve in January and our contract in the Gables was up in April. We didn’t have anywhere to go when our lease ended, but things were closed by then anyway,” Griffin said, noting that the boutique had already been on a hiatus due to COVID-19 since March 16.

The business began in 2010 in Decatur and was initially named Earthen Pottery Boutique, due to the focus on pottery. However, after Griffin began displaying a few clothing items mixed in with the other merchandise, she realized that sold much better than the pottery. The business name was shortened to E.P. Boutique to avoid confusion and the store’s focus switched to clothing and accessories.

After five years in Decatur, Griffin and her husband, Mike, moved to Springfield and opened a location in The Gables. Their daughter, Cassie Griffin, now manages the store and Griffin says she is hoping to expand the product line once again.

“We’re always evolving. I’m really trying to get more casual wear and a range of prices, something for everyone,” said Griffin. “I want things that are fun, funky and comfortable.”

While the new location will still have around 1,500 square feet of space, Griffin said she is looking forward to better visibility and traffic counts. She said regular customers have already been calling to ask when the store will be open, and she’s planning for Aug. 1.

“We’re taking a leap of faith and moving forward in the hope that this is going to be a success again.”