Roving consignment boutique Gogarbaj has earned fans for its stylish secondhand clothing at affordable prices, peddled from a 1978 Chevrolet truck at pop-ups around Boston.
As of this week, the shop has a permanent two-floor home in South Boston (395 West Broadway), overseen by owner Jessie Orbovich.
On one level, there are men’s and women’s items from local brands like Rough House (ripped denim), Back Bay Watch Co. (local timepieces), and Wicked Dog Apparel (canine-themed clothing), plus designer secondhand and upcycled goods. Downstairs, there’s a lounge that Orbovich hopes will become a neighborhood hangout.
The focal point is her veteran grandfather’s bar, etched with signatures of celebrities he befriended while stationed in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
“Bob Hope came to Cuba for a Christmas special, and they became friends. Famous actresses drank at that bar. He has signatures going back to 1962,” she says. It’s covered with wine labels peeled from favorite bottles through the years.
The wall is also lined with records from her personal collection — Bob Dylan, the Cars, the Police, and even John Denver. Shoppers can host bridal or bachelorette parties in the space; Orbovich also uses it for events.
The neighborhood is ripe for such a spot, says Orbovich, who spent years in the area bartending at spots like Capo and Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant before embarking on her fashion career. The conversational skills that she sharpened behind the bar come in handy at the boutique.
“I can tell people what looks good and what doesn’t. I don’t lie,” she says.
The fact that South Boston deserves a store to keep up with the area’s nightlife.
“Southie is young and up-and-coming, and the women here go out six nights a week!” she says. “They don’t want to be seen in the same outfit twice, which is where I come in. They go out every night, and I know this for sure, because I’ve worked here. And the momentum is only getting stronger.”Kara Baskin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.