Metro Pulse Gift Guide for Men 2011

Jolly gifts for everyone on your list —all of them fa-la-la-la local

'Tis the season... how do you want to finish that sentence? Most any tone you’d like to set, there’s a corresponding gift—just match ’em up with this handy guide, then sit back and watch your gifts being enjoyed.

’Tis the season... be cool, way cool

Frames From Luttrell’s

Has dad or your boyfriend been recycling the same frames for decades? New glasses can liven up his look—or just move it into this century. Luttrell’s has lots of great looking frames, like those from Kliik and Fysh from Denmark, all prescription-available. And if you’re leery of making such a life-altering choice for the guy, try a gift certificate (each one has a picture of the Luttrell’s shop dog, Lundy!) and the experienced staff will guide him, gently, to a new look. ($200-$300)

LUTTRELL’S EYEWEAR, 5030 Kingston Pike, 588-4052, feel warm and fuzzy—in a manly way

Tickets to It’s A Wonderful Life

How about an early gift to get your fellow in the holiday spirit? The Carousel Theatre is a neat little offshoot of the University of Tennessee’s Clarence Brown, and your guy will love the intimate seating and fine acoustics for this nostalgic “radio play” version of It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey is full of funny quips, sure, but a nice add-on gift might be a classic white handkerchief to daub away the tears.

CLARENCE BROWN THEATRE, 206 McClung Tower, University of Tennessee, 974-5161, be hoppy

Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria Gift Card

Featuring 40 taps behind the bar, Barley’s is the place for the beer connoisseur in your life, self-proclaimed or otherwise. Throw in a full menu of pizzas and more, billiards upstairs, and regular live entertainment; you can expect twinkling eyes and rosy cheeks that put ol’ Saint Nick to shame. Stay tuned to their calendar for live music to be featured on the Barley’s stage, and make a night of it!

BARLEY’S TAPROOM & PIZZERIA, 200 East Jackson Avenue, 521-0092, team up

Indoor Soccer and Flag Football at Cool Sports

He needs exercise, comradery, something to do while you’re shopping—and it better not come across as “Honey, you need to lose weight and this will help.” Instead, give the gift of a sports team membership at Cool Sports indoor sports destination, like soccer or flag football. If he needs convincing, let him know he can enjoy ice cold beers post-game at Basil’s Sports Bar, right inside the facility.

COOL SPORTS, 110 South Watt Rd, 865- 218-4500,

...for perfect timing

Nixon Rubber Player Watch

An iconic timepiece fit for the new millenium, the Nixon Rubber Player is for Maxim types, or any guy with good taste and a bit of flair about him. The movement is three-hand Japanese quartz, it’s got a domed mineral crystal, double gasket crown, and real diamond on the face. And that band? As the name proclaims, rubber, in the form of co-molded polycarbonate and silicone.

THE BOARD ROOM, 6513 Kingston Pike, Suite G, 865-851-7982, start a style trend

Redken Products For Men From Acropolis

Hey, a guy can care about hair, too. If yours does, or you wish he would, how about a selection of Redken For Men products? Some are designed to help his hair “stand tough,” for example, or “stand still.” If the products aren’t enough encouragement, the salon itself focuses on total hair health—and even copes with thinning hair, if that’s the issue.

ACROPOLIS HAIR STUDIO, 2452 Sutherland Ave, 865-544-4440,

…for car-scaping


Your first Carstache® feels like your first kiss, cold beer, snow cone, and slow dance. It’s glorious! It just feels good. It feels powerful. Your car has been naked until now. So strap a ’stache, buckle up, and enjoy the ride! ($33)

Bliss on Market Square, 24 Market Square, 329-8868, care for your hair

Aveda For Men From Chop Shop

Aveda’s got pure skin and hair care products that are socially and environmentally responsible, the Chop Shop’s got Aveda, you’ve got your guy’s gift, hmmm? Or, just bring him by for a cut at the salon. If you do it on a Wednesday or Friday between 3 p.m.-7 p.m., it’s Happy Hour, which means a cold beer and 10 percent off the whole shebang of services.

CHOP SHOP HAIR STUDIO, 1206 N Central St, 865-525-4240,

…to feel the beat

Drums and Lessons

Choose from Green Earth Emporium’s selection of imported drums, offering a wide range in size and design. Dealing with a commitment-phobe? Starting this January, Green Earth’s very own Eric Dixon will again be offering African rhythmic strumming classes—drum rental available for an additional $5 per class. Any amount you spend on drum rental can be applied to the purchase of any drum in-store! (Drums $125-$285, lessons $10 per class)

GREEN EARTH EMPORIUM, 4481 Kingston Pike, 588-9882,

... to be jolly

New Year’s Package at Side Splitters

Hey, there is a New Year’s night a guy can love, too. The Side Splitters gala tips off at 10:30 p.m. with live comedy from Oak Ridge’s own Josh Phillips, champagne toast, party favors, countdown with a balloon drop, music and dancing, a continental breakfast buffet, and that crucial open bar! Tickets are $70 per person online (though prices go up the day of or at the door). Or, opt for the pre-party at $15 each—same comedy show, champagne toast, party favors, and a mock countdown. ($70-$75 per person)

SIDE SPLITTERS COMEDY CLUB, 9246 Park West Boulevard, 924-5233, kiss the cook

Cookbooks From Mckay

He loves to cook, you love him, what could be simpler? McKay offers an eclectic collection with shelves upon shelves of specialty cookbooks, from books for aspiring grill masters to a beginner’s guide to wine pairings. Short on cash? Sell or trade your own used books, CDs, and DVDs for a wallet-friendly holiday shopping alternative. Make it an open-early gift, and maybe there will be waffles and mimosas for Christmas brunch.

MCKAY USED BOOKS AND CDs, 230 Papermill Place Way, 588-0331,

...when being naughty can be nice

Spicy Adult Entertainment

How about a little spice with all that holiday sugar? Your (age of consent) fellow can find lots of fun toys and apparel along with racy videos at the Adult Superstore. Make it a two-part present, including a gift certificate to the store and a date night where you (blush if you need to) shop together to redeem it.

ADULT VIDEO SUPERSTORE, 515 Lovell Road, 671-3836 be rowdy

Knoxville Ice Bears Tickets

For your man the sports fan, and in support of our own Knoxville Ice Bears, go for a set of hockey tickets. Order on and save over 50 percent while you’re at it! And look ahead for the occasional theme night to get him in the holiday spirit. May we recommend the upcoming “Guaranteed Fight Night” on Dec. 17? ($14-$29, children’s and senior discounts available)

KNOXVILLE ICE BEARS, 5030 Kingston Pike, 588-4052, be a kid again

Collector’s Edition Movie Posters and Vinyl

You can never go wrong with a solid pairing. Opt for the collector’s edition Dawn of the Dead movie poster and a copy of Nirvana’s Incesticide, for example. Your fella prefer a lighter theme? Fear not. Raven Records & Rarities boasts a selection of hundreds of posters, and even more vinyl, just begging to be matched and to suit any taste.

Raven Records & Rarities, 5710 Kingston Pike, 558-0066 catch up on your reading

In the Garden of Beasts

Whether a guy’s going to read one book this year or 1,000, this comes heartily recommended by Knoxville’s finest independent booksellers. Tagged “Love, terror, and an American family in Hitler’s Berlin,” author Erik Larson delves into 1933, the year before Hitler assumed absolute power, told from the perspective of William E. Dodd, America’s first ambassador to Nazi Germany, and his daughter Martha. Chilling page turner for your favorite History channel fan.

UNION AVENUE BOOKS, 517 Union Ave, 865-951-2180, make a lasting impression

Saint Tattoo Body Art

Award-winning Saint Tattoo has a number of artists on staff, each licensed and willing to pierce or ink the man in your life to his heart’s content. As the giver of this gift that keeps on giving, we think creative input is fair. Your name, your face... Or, you know, whatever. Gift certificates always available! ($25 and up)

Saint Tattoo Body Art, 1020 North Broadway, 971-3983, weather some weather

Manly Dickie Hat from Disc Exchange

For the times when the sharp-dressed man needs protection from the elements, how about a hard-working hat by Dickie that comes with a life time guarantee, paired with patterned gloves by Free Authority that leave the fingertips free, or not, as you please. These are perfect for “take down the lights” day, and the sportiest snowman would love to borrow them. (Hat, gloves $15)

DISC EXCHANGE, 2615 Chapman Highway, 573-5710, go dashing through the snow

Snowboard from Pluto Sports

The powder beckons! Isn’t it time he got his own snowboard? Pluto Sports staffers know their stuff, and they recommend the Lib-Tech Travis Rice Pro with Union Bindings and Vans boots—all stuff you can’t buy anywhere else in this area. Swoosh!

PLUTO SPORTS, 245 N Seven Oaks Drive, 693-8990,

...for sugar and spice

Nostalgic Candies From Mast

By-the-pound candies from Mast’s barrels become a gift that will work for more than one guy on the list: it says “Remember when?” to a grandpa type, but is also suitable for the paper carrier or the cute new guy at work—“Hey, I thought you might like this so I picked it up.” Have fun browsing amongst Mary Janes, Goo Goo bars, Zagnuts, and BB Bats. Or send a message to that cute guy with Red Hots and such. It’s all very cost-effective: $6 a pound.

MAST GENERAL STORE, 402 South Gay Street, 546-1336, savor, and save

Humidor from the Smoke Pit

Sometimes a man just wants to have and hold some really special cigars—or know he’s got a fresh supply if a poker game or new baby breaks out. A humidor is what keeps his cigars fresh, and the folks at Smoke Pit are more than happy to recommend a few cigars to store inside, too.

THE SMOKE PIT, 7316 Norris Freeway (Halls), 925-2337, 922-0951

...for families to gather

Family Photo by John Black Photography

My how we’ve grown! A portrait from John Black will commemorate the good old days as they’re happening. The photographer and airy studio combine to show subjects at their best—and at ease. Come in with the whole family, or with friends who are the family you choose for yourself.

JOHN BLACK PHOTOGRAPHY, 501 Union Avenue, 865-522-1715,

...for flings—of the Highland sort

Gift Certificate to Boyd's Jig & Reel

Whether your guy already has any object he might need or just needs to get out more, this is a great pub to send him to, all expenses paid. Seriously, two of their mottos are “100 scotches and counting” and “Knoxville’s first session pub—bring your own instrument.” How could your Scotch-Irish loving lad go wrong?

BOYD’S JIG & REEL, 247-7066, 101 S. Central Street,

...that can lift you up

Skiing and More at Ober Gatlinburg

Oh, yeah, skiing for that guy at Ober Gatlinburg, a mere 45 minutes or so from Knoxville—and did you know some lift tickets are on sale at And if he doesn’t ski? It’s still a swell outing opportunity, so much better than more home stores or antiquing, with an aerial tramway, alpine slide, or year-round ice skating.

OBER GATLINBURG, Suite 2, 1001 Parkway, Gatlinburg, 865-436-5423, be spirited

Potables From Palace Liquor

Lift his spirits with a bottle of holiday wine, whiskey, or, here’s a thought: champagne for Christmas brunch or a Happy New Year. Best part of this gift is browsing the low prices and neat flavored liqueurs for yourself, too. Who ever said Santa prefers cookies?

PALACE LIQUOR STORE, 3204 Rudy Street, 865-525-7770, be busting out all over

Corsets Modeled By You

Yowza. The lady wears it, but it’s a glam gift for your significant other—corsets from Intimate Treasures, like this satin number from the Shirley of Hollywood’s Marilyn Monroe line. It can be the basis for a behind-closed-doors get up, or a romantic touch for that special New Year’s eve outfit. You wear it, he’ll love it, promise. ($35-$75)

INTIMATE TREASURES 7212 Kingston Pike, 584-3199 go a’ wandering

Camelbak From River Sports

If your guy goes about with a backpack on his back, this water bottle is a swell update, perfect for treks or chair lifts. It’s all about hydration, including a signature “antidote reservoir,” and still offers plenty of other storage at the lightest weight he could imagine. And the company “Baks” their products with a lifetime guarantee.

River Sports Outfitters, 2918 Sutherland Avenue, 865-523-0066, get away, but not too far

Abingdon, Virginia Vacation Package

A romantic getaway you can both enjoy awaits just two hours away in historic, cozy Abingdon, Virginia. Take in a holiday production at the Barter Theatre, loll around the grand but up-to-date Martha Hotel and Spa, and sample regional favorites and fine wine over dinner at Heartwood. And the planning’s been done—the one-night stay, show, and meal are all included. ($365 for two)

EXPLORE ABINGDON, VA., 800-435-3440, follow your nose

Ribs and Drinks at Calhoun's

How about tucking some of America’s Best Ribs into a man’s stocking? They’re slow smoked over split, seasoned hickory logs and you can build anticipation several miles away with the scent alone. If you go for a gift certificate, he can choose anything from chops and steaks to wings by the pound. And all cocktails are $5. How about a Chocolatini for the big guy?

CALHOUN’S, for a list of locations, addresses, and phone numbers:

...for luscious sweets and secret Santas

Holiday Cupcakes

You don’t have to go overboard to make someone feel very special in the holiday season—just tuck a single cupcake into an unexpected spot, and voila! The Cup has plenty of happy choices, like the Peppermint Stick cupcake with its red velvet and peppermint swirled cake and mini white chocolate chips, available starting Dec. 6. Too subtle? Hey, a dozen’s also an option. ($3.25 each, $31 assorted dozen)

THE CUP Knoxville’s Original Cupcakery, 5508 Kingston Pike, 865-909-9401 • Turkey Creek: 11525 Parkside Drive, 865-966-5900, indulge at daybreak

Breakfast at Pete's Coffee Shop

Flapjacks, omelettes, a fine cup of joe: indulge in a holiday breakfast at this bustling, friendly diner that’s got family on staff and staff that’s like family, too. A real standout is the home fries, which yield nothing to the biscuits and gravy, oh well, let him decide. And be prepared to come back later in the day—the hot, fresh plate lunches, burgers and club sandwiches are almost too good, too.

PETE’S COFFEE SHOP, 540 Union Avenue, 865-523-2860,

...for seasonal eats—and all that jazz!

Dinner at Bella Luna

Tucked into Market Square at an ideal vantage for people watching, Bella Luna serves modern Italian cuisine based on seasonal ingredients and has free jazz on weekends. Norwegian Salmon with cherry risotto and a citrus and caramelized onion cream sauce sounds nice, yes? Maybe this would be an occasion for something sparkly from their lavish wine list? Or a decadent dessert? Share this gift, you deserve it.

BELLA LUNA RESTAURANT, 15 Market Square, 865-247-7405, sing out

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors “Neighborly Christmas” Concert

Hey, a guy should get out of the house of an evening now and again, and the historic Bijou presents this wonderful excuse Dec. 18. Holcomb and his band are part of the “let’s stretch country” revival in Nashville, and they’ve hit it so big that they’ve been featured on NBC’s Parenthood and an online download frenzy. They say they inspire moments of “honesty, transcendence, and humanity.” Just doesn’t sound like your guy? Try the Dos Equis Comedy Series featuring Henry Cho Dec. 17, instead. (Holcomb and the Neighbors $16.50-$19; Dos Equis Comedy $26.50 base price)

BIJOU THEATRE, 803 South Gay Street, 865-522-0832, venture forth, warmly

North Face Aconcagua Vest

This vest is a favorite of staffers at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Gatlinburg, where they’ve been rafting, fly fishing, and kayaking for decades. They revere the Aconcagua vest for its ample 550-fill down and durable ripstop fabric outer shell; it will last a long, long time. That means a guy can wear it to hike and rappel down rocks and such, or cut the heating bills by sporting it right in the living room. ($99)

NANTAHALA OUTDOOR CENTER, 1138 Parkway, Gatlinburg, 865-277-8209,

...for wholesome entertainment

Nativity and Christmas Shows at the Square Room

If your take is that Jesus is the reason for the season, the Square Room’s intimate stage will be hosting several different religious-themed entertainments in December. Choices include a performance of Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God on Dec. 16 ($5) and Nativity on the Square & All for Love on the 21st ($10 or $5 with new toy in package). And yep, the whole family could come along.

THE SQUARE ROOM, 4 Market Square, 865-544-4199,

...for “forever” gifts

Handcrafted Belts From KC Leatherwerks

A good belt is something a guy can wear every day, and KC Leatherwerks customizes the very nicest. They also carry several lines of popular manufactured belts, like the stingray money belt if a fellow travels or is just sort of cautious. It may not be glittery, but it’s a serious gift—all belts crafted at KC include free color touch-ups and repairs for the life of the belt.

KC LEATHERWERKS, 7127 Kingston Pike, 584-0011,

© 2011 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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