My wife often tells me that I’ve become a bitter old man when it comes to the explosive growth of our home city of Nashville, Tennessee. Though I’m not a born and bred native, I have spent a decade plus in Music City, and I can proudly recant the days when a popular Nashville hood now known as The Gulch supported only a scurry of railroad tracks, my home of Big Red, and the world famous Station Inn – only to become overgrown with chain restaurants, rental apartments, and not-so-unique department stores. Ugh, I suppose some growth is good – but I often yearn for the good ole days when said neighborhood felt a bit grittier.
Much is the same in downtown Nashville. I lovingly reminisce about the times when you couldn’t find a decent meal ‘off Broadway’ past 4:00 p.m. Nowadays, you’d better have a reservation 2 weeks in advance to eat at many of our fine establishments. So, it was on to the 12 South neighborhood I proudly went – only to watch it slowly become everything I didn’t want it to become . . . popular. Yep, I suppose I do sound a bit bitter.
So when a group of folks began restoring an old gas station / turned architect’s office into a general store I quickly began to question such credibility. That was until I found out that one of Nashville’s proud leading ladies, Ms. Holly Williams, was one of the curators at hand – creating the now very popular, and very much deserving White’s Mercantile.
A woman who needs no introduction, and someone who certainly has more Nashville (and national cred) than most Nashvillians, Holly has created an earnest and honest modern day version of the General Store – made up of goods that embody our fair south and beyond with great finds, local charm, and a loving staff – I mean it – you’d happily invite every person that works at White’s to join you in your own kitchen for a family meal.
So, it is with all confidence that I relied on Holly and the staff at White’s to curate the ultimate Father’s Day gift guide – by that I mean gifts guys (and dads) truly want.
It’s especially poignant because this is my first Father’s Day – and becoming a dad has melted my bitter old man heart like butter in a hot cast-iron skillet! So I’m hoping my loving wife will hop in the car and head down to White’s to make this holiday even sweeter with these special finds!
Pick up these items in person at Whites Mercantile or online:
Daneson Flavored Toothpicks – $8 – just as the name implies, expertly flavored toothpicks to enjoy after dinner with a cocktail and cigar.
Wild & Wolf ceramic fish mug – $14 – a handsome and hefty mug that has an aptitude for holding bourbon just as well as it does coffee.
Frausto & Co. Beer Deck – $19.95 – facts, vocab, and tips about beer. Enough said.
Jack Rudy Coctail Co. Small Batch Tonic – $24 – expertly curated, small batch cocktail mixers – just add your own poison.
A Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen, Adventures in Cooking, Eating, and Living in the New South – $32 – yes, call it a shameless plug, but it’s also a gift that gets gents into the kitchen. Signed copies available at Whites!
Y’allsome Bourbon Tower Poster – $38 – a fine print that deserves to be hung in any gentleman’s office or man cave.
Bluegrass, a finely tuned scent – $80 – a perfect scent for summer with notes of fresh cut grass, cold running water, and a rebel spirit built on the backbone of Appalachia.
Filson Tote – $100 – gonna go out on a limb and say that this would make the manliest diaper bag ever – or of course, perfect for electronics or an overnight trip.