The Ultimate Man Cave – Where ‘Everyone Knows Your Name’February 14, 2014
Bellying up to bar to select a brand of beer takes on a new meaning when visiting Ralph’s (last name withheld at Ralph’s request) man cave. Ralph’s man cave hosts close to 545 beer taps.
In addition to his beer taps, multiple display cases are filled with collectable beer steins, cigarette lighters and decks of cards. In the man cave, visitors and friends could become easily overwhelmed with all the man cave eye candy.
Even the two dozen, white, acoustic ceiling tiles above are lined with hundreds of coasters obtained from around the world. In a second, adjoining room, thousands of matchbox and vintage metal trucks have been collected since the 1960s, each in their original packaging. “I have an original Hess truck from the 60s,” commented Ralph.
The top of the bar is lined with approximately 4,000 pennies, aligned perfectly, each facing an identical direction. “It took 18 tubes of super glue for me to complete that top of the bar,” comments Ralph’s number one man cave fan, his beautiful bride, Sandy.
Ralph started collecting beer taps close to 30 years ago. “It started as a hobby, and I just kept collecting. My first beer tap was created by Miller Lite in the shape of a cactus. That was 30 years ago. In fact, when I drove a truck, I used that beer tap as the shifter handle for my truck.”
From that first beer tap, Ralph has searched the four corners of the earth to not only create the ultimate man cave, complete with his 545 beer taps, he has also created a man cave complete with other period pieces from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Bar mirrors, bar signs, signs that light up and signs that are ornamented with gold filigree encircle the man cave. Neon “Open” signs are lit and illuminate the rooms.
In order to reach the man cave, one must walk through Sandy’s 50s and 60s decorated kitchen. Flooring, wall covering and furniture all portray that time in life when we bee bopped to the jukebox, wore ankle socks and danced to 45 rpm records.
The stairway to the man cave is called Penny Lane and a picture of Marilyn Monroe has been hung on the wall. Classic Budweiser advertising signs also are represented on the wall. Antique license plates from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Florida and other states rest above an antique Receiving and Shipping metal sign. At the last descending step, a bold red and black sign states Bad Boys Blvd. And as in all bars, the neon “Open” sign was lit and also red in color. You have now entered “Man Town” as described by the sign on the stairway.
The beer taps are attached to wooden planks which are attacked to three walls. Each beer tap has been secured by a bolt below the tap. The taps are organized, mostly by brewer. From ales to microbrews to the traditional and popular, one would be challenged to find a beer tap not on display.
Beer taps shaped from fly swatter to popular sports teams, from sum mar wrestler to duck, bull to pointing finger, or dolphin to a senioritis, if you can think it, Ralph has a beer tap for it.
Beer glasses hang upside down from the ceiling from specially constructed glass holders. These glasses, too, also have been engraved and colored with period printing as a sign of the times.
And, hungry for a hot dog, Ralph has got that covered too with his hot dog cooker.
Ralph’s man cave is a place where friends and neighbors come together to enjoy each other’s company and where, at the end of the day, “everyone knows your name.”