Care to try a Bug Barf soda? Or spend $100 bucks on a 1970s motor-oil can turned coffeemaker? Or score tickets to a concert by Marshall Crenshaw?
You can do all of the above at Randy Now’s Man Cave & Consignment Shop, a two-room store in downtown Bordentown where owner Randy Ellis gets to showcase all things quirky.
Despite his shop’s name, Ellis’s inventory is not exclusively for guys. The only possible shopping requirement is a fascination with pop culture—and soda pop. Here, you’ll find a large selection of vinyl LPs (starting at six for $5), punk-rock posters, vintage board games, goofy reproduction toys from the 1960s and assorted bobble-heads. Recent sales include a sign from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge ($200) and an original R. Crumb poster ($300).
And then there are the sodas. At the Man Cave, you can enjoy liquid oddities such as the aforementioned Bug Barf, a yellowish kiwi-pineapple concoction from Avery’s Beverages ($2.29 a bottle); Goya Jamaican-Style Ginger Beer ($1.99); and at Halloween time, marionberry-flavored Martian Poop Soda. To further challenge your taste buds (or your good taste), Ellis stocks oddball snacks, such as bacon popcorn and Andy Warhol-licensed chocolate bars.
Somehow it all starts to make sense when you meet the rotund, 57-year-old Ellis, who spent 30 years as a concert booker and tour manager before opening the Man Cave in 2012. In addition to his idiosyncratic merchandise, Ellis sells tickets for the shows he still books at Bordentown’s Open Arts Stage Theater. Upcoming attractions include 1960s band the Standells (May 2) and pop singer/songwriter Crenshaw with special guest Jeffrey Gaines (May 11). Ellis also stages in-store concerts in the Man Cave.
The kitschy nature of his shop makes entrepreneurship a tough gig, Ellis admits. But he’s hoping that the recent publication of a book about City Gardens—the legendary Trenton punk venue that he booked for 20 years—and an upcoming documentary about his prominent role there will bring in more customers. Randy Now’s Man Cave, 134 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown; 609-424-3766