It’s a small space chock full of big-name names.
Tucked in a strip mall in Mt. Juliet on Lebanon Road, Man Cave Ink has lots of ink (as in autographs) and is making a name for itself the past few months.
Got a “man cave” or possibly a “she-shed” that needs some swag and bling? Some pro sports memorabilia to swank up the place? Or, just to give some cred to your cave or shed, and some cool things to see and touch? Man Cave Ink is your gig.
Tim Thornton, along with partners Ricky Otazu and Carlos Huesca, love memorabilia. They got together and opened Man Cave Ink last May.
Thornton went through a divorce a few years ago and was out of the house and eager to find a niche business. He and his friends had a lot of autographed stuff and decided, why not make a business out of this and sell our cool memorabilia.
Thornton is an Army veteran and travels from Fort Campbell to keep the business fresh.
“I had a lot of things signed by country singers,” he said. “Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, George Strait and so many more.”
His friends had many sports autographs. Thornton grew up in Popular Bluff, Mo.
“Back when I was a kid there was a card shop on every corner,” he said. “I could buy a card for two bucks. It’s not like that now.”
Otazu had a lot of signed helmets. They had so much stuff to offer regular folks who love things signed by famous people they decided a brick and mortar store, would be a showcase for locals searching for a piece of their favorite star or athlete.
And, yes, they have a Kiss poster signed by Gene Simmons. That’s just one of the treasures sprawled around in this store.
“A lot of people can’t get to games and places and events like we can,” Thornton said. “We can provide these items to them here at the store.
“We really just want this store to be ‘our time’s’ hang-out place. Where people browse, try on things, hold basketballs and baseballs and hockey pucks signed by cool people.”
Some items are five bucks, but, a special helmet can go up to $2,500. There are $500 belts worn and signed by big-time wrestlers. And then there are the footballs and jerseys. Some local athletes come to the shop and sign and schmooze with customers. Many times, the store partners pay for a private signing, and there are public signings as well.
Tennessee Titans linebacker Jayon Brown is a regular and signs for fans at the store. Oakland Raiders first-round draft pick Clelin Ferrell showed up for a private signing.
All autographs come with a certificate of authenticity with a money-back guarantee.
Are they the next Pawn Stars of Mt. Juliet? Not really, because they rarely trade or buy items from customers. But they just may become the stop for a one-of-a-kind birthday present or a boost to your guy’s new man cave. Or your girl’s she-shed.
“You just never know what you will find here,” Thornton said. “If you don’t find what you want, we will get it for you.”
MAN CAVE INK
Where: 12008 Lebanon Rd. in Mt. Juliet (near intersection with Nonaville Road)
Hours: Weekdays 4-9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Contact: (615) 758-7733
Owners: Tim Thornton, Ricky Otazu, Carlos Huesca
Opened: May 2019
What you will find there: Signed sports and entertainment memorabilia