COTTAGE GROVE – Tam Jeppesen and Kayla Esser celebrated their new ownership of Bohemian Tavern on Sept. 28 with a ribbon cutting, confetti, and community members.
“We’ve been greatly supported by our friends and family. … We really couldn’t have done this without the love and support of everybody,” Jeppesen said.
Jeppesen and Esser became the new owners of the bar, which opened in the ’80s. The duo doesn’t intend on making any drastic changes, just cosmetic ones.
Stephanie L. Cumpton has been going to Bohemian Tavern, located at 50 N. 9th St., for over a decade, and she said she considers Jeppesen and Esser to be family.
“We love these ladies so much, and we’ve been through a lot of their life stuff with them. They’re our daughters,” Cumpton said. “The day we knew the papers were changing hands, we were here to help clean.” Cumpton vacuumed, and her husband Jon repaired the facility.
Jeppesen started at Bohemian Tavern about two years ago as a bartender. She said she knew the bar was being sold, and she approached Kayla Esser to become co-owners. Esser, having been a bartender at Bohemian Tavern for three years before becoming a manager for six, was on board.
Esser said seeing all the guests go to the ribbon cutting and support the new ownership was “a crazy feeling.”
“(The ribbon cutting is) a visual reminder of the support that everybody’s given us in the background to get us to this point,” Jeppesen said. “To see everybody here lets us know that we’re on the right path, and we just really feel loved and supported by everybody.”