A store in Elmwood hopes to shed some light on the world of man caves.
The Rec Room, located in the lower level of 377 Henderson Hwy., has been open since last winter, selling wares that would be right at home anywhere male bonding happens.
Owner Glenn Maskiw, who runs the shop with wife Vera and son Taras, found his own collection of breweriana — alcohol promotional items ranging from beer tap handles to signs to posters to glassware — was getting too big, and culling his collection was necessary.
Glenn said many of the items originally came from the United States, where he and the family would often keep an eye out for items on vacation.
Because of that, many of the items are extremely hard to find within city limits.
"If you go on eBay, you can find ‘one-of-a-kind’ or ‘two-of-a-kind,’" Glenn said. "We know that not one-of-a-kind was ever made, but they may only be in Winnipeg as one-of-a-kind or two-of-a-kind.
"We can’t say that this is the only sign you’ll see like this, but this may be the only one you see for a very long time."
Glenn said with these particular items, there often is an advantage to seeing the merchandise in-person first. While some collectibles are reproductions, several of the items were used in such places as bars, and because of that, may have some minor dings, dents, and other imperfections —as an example, he points out one Budweiser sign in the shop that has been nicked up.
"They know what they’re getting, the condition. If there are flaws, we’ll point it out. These are working signs, a lot of them," Glenn said.
Glenn said he and the family, which lives in Meadows West, have been looking into opening the store for years, but had trouble finding the right space for the right price.
While some collectors seek particular brands of booze merchandise for their basements, Vera said she takes the style over substance approach to the items.
"I like when we get something vintage, because it’s so nice to see something from decades ago still hanging around and surviving, because for the most part, they weren’t meant to be in our homes," she said, noting vintage things often come from other collections. "Some of them are so unique and so funny — they’re the ones that get my attention. I couldn’t pick a certain brand to collect."
Each family member brings a little something to the shop, as Taras came up with the idea to bring in promotional items for Monster energy drinks, and Vera sells her handicrafts at the store.
The shop is open Wednesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.