The shop around the corner: Junk In The Trunk moves to Grass Valley’s old bank building
June 8, 2018
If you've been paying attention as you drive down Mill Street in Grass Valley, you've likely noticed there is a shift happening.
New eateries are opening in old locations, old shops are trying out the view from other storefronts, and there's a general sense that change is afoot.
One notable change is the transformation of the old Nevada County bank building that has stood on the corner of Mill and Bank streets for over 100 years, its domed ceiling rising above surrounding rooftops.
Bonnie Pattilo and Karen Lian, co-owners of gift, home and vintage boutique store Junk In The Trunk, are not only embracing the change but in many ways are leading the charge.
After three years in their current Mill Street location, the two are on the move. The vintage side of the business has opened up in a new location in the Antique Trove in Roseville, while Junk In The Trunk will relocate to the bank building at 131 Mill Street.
Fans of Junk In The Trunk will need to look for the store under a new name to match its new locale. The shop will be known as Lola & Jack's, a tip of the hat not only to Lian's British heritage but to the history of Grass Valley as well.
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"We wanted to ensure that we've got the roots of Grass Valley involved in the business name. 'Lola' refers to Lola Montez, and Jack is from Union Jack Street, and I'm a Brit."
A new bakery called Cake is planning to join Lola & Jack's in the newly renovated space, as are a hair salon and a financial advisor who will occupy one of the downstairs spaces. The building has two spaces still available for lease.
Lian envisions the 131 Mill building as a hub of activity, a place where one can pop in and get their hair done, have a pastry and mimosa, then enjoy shopping in Lola and Jack's.
Lian said that the decision to undergo such changes was made easier by simple strokes of fate.
"It was literally that circumstances meant that certain things fell into place all at the same time," she said. "It would seem silly not to do it."
If all goes according to plan, Lian and Pattilo will get the keys to their new store on July 1 and open around the middle of the month.
The two have been grateful to work with Craig Hamilton, the owner and developer of the bank building, and have every faith in Hamilton and his experienced team.
"We've been watching Craig do the work on the building," Lian said, "so every time he tells us he is going to do something by a certain time, he always achieves it. He's trying to keep the character of the building as well. Keeping the structural integrity but enhancing it."
Hamilton and his wife Lori have been deeply involved in the construction process, which began last October.
Leading a tour of the facilities, Hamilton pointed out the some of the details he and his team have carefully selected and installed in the once-drab downtown structure.
"What we're trying to do is take it back representing the 1917 version," said Hamilton. "Our challenge is, how do we do something cool with what we have to work with? You have to be creative and you've got to get your hands dirty."
The Hamiltons are locals and last year completed work on the Thirsty Barrel tap room on Neal Street.
Hamilton said his goal for the 131 Mill space is to capture the soul, or essence, of the original structure. In addition to carefully chosen light fixtures and windows that served as teller windows in the original bank, Hamilton would like to pay homage to the history that lies within the building.
"We're going to try and bring in some old pictures, hopefully some construction pictures of the building and along the way," he said. "I have an original check from 1917 that's from Nevada County Bank. We're doing our best to honor the heritage (of the) building."
The ladies of Junk In The Trunk have already begun the moving process, placing many items in their current location on sale in order to more easily transport their wares.
"We'd like people to know, and think, that downtown Grass Valley is not just for tourists," Lian said. "It's for the locals as well to come and find unique and interesting gifts that they're not going to find in box stores. We have fun doing it."
Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com or 530-477-4231.