Boondocks Vintage Boutique, a unique gift and repurpose shop has been officially open since the early part of November when (L to R) Senator Karla Bigam, Councilman Steve Dennis, Boondocks Vintage Boutique co-owners Allison Steenberg and Erin Spence, Mayor Myron Bailey, and Councilman Justin Olsen joined the festivities for the Grand Opening. Boondocks features one-of-a-kind gifts from local artisans. If you find something you like, you better buy it right then because it may not be made again. Photo by Bruce Karnick.
City highlights new business in Old Cottage Grove

Boondocks Vintage Boutique located just south of historic Furber farm

“I was aware of the history of this building,” Boondocks Vintage Boutique co-owner Allison Steenberg says of the former bar now turned to a new use at 7402 Lamar Avenue South. “When we moved here it was right at the very end when this bar closed down.”

Originally called Bahl’s Tavern on account of the first owner, the reclaimed Boondocks Vintage Boutique has an interesting history, and promising present. Co-owner Erin Spence shared the process that went into renovating the one-time tavern so that it was usable again for a new purpose.

“When we walked into this place it was a total mess,” she said of the former bar turned vintage goods store. “You could have knocked the bar down with a feather.”

With the building now renovated with hard work by the husbands business owners, things are in sturdier shape— and it was worth the effort to reclaim.

“People always come in here and run into friends and family that they haven’t seen since the Boondocks was open,” Spence shared recently. “So that’s really fun to hear their stories of when they used to hang out here,” she said.

Now specializing in items like upcycled furniture along with home décor and clothing, the Old Cottage Grove store with Facebook presence at was recently featured by the city in its 12 day’s of Cottage, along with a ribbon cutting. Steenberg shared more on what the store offers.

“Lots of local vendors,” she said. “At this boutique you’re going to find a lot of stuff that you’re not going to find anywhere else.” With the Boutique posting a sneak peek Wednesdays for what’s available the upcoming weekend, things can go out the door quickly.

“If you see something you like it’ll probably be gone the next time you come,” Steenberg said, adding, “you’ve got to pick it up right away.” Among the best things the boutique has to offer, though, is the ambiance.

“It’s a great atmosphere,” Spence said, a sentiment Steenberg agreed with.

“We just try to keep this place a fun environment and atmosphere for the locals so they can still meet up,” she said of the community gem at 7402 Lamar Avenue South.

More information is also available at the store’s website, located at

December 29, 2021