Onward Reserve Drop-in

While visiting the in-laws in Atlanta over the holiday, I managed to sneak out for a short side visit to Athens with the wife and baby. The plan was to walk the downtown and grab lunch at one of Hugh Acheson’s places, either the National or Five and Ten. Being a Sunday though, things were slow or closed. Neither of Acheson’s places were still open for brunch by the time we got to town. Fortunately, we were able to hit Onward Reserve.  OR are among the few highly curated and high-quality modern but traditional menswear and lifestyle shops in the South. OR was born out of the online flash sale site 5 Mile Club, but now has two retail storefronts, one in Atlanta and the original in Athens.

Walking through the shop, I kinda wish I hit this place before my recent work trip to St. Simons Island… OR carries several hard to find top notch southern apparel brands, including their own-label brand. You can find Southern Marsh, Smathers & Branson, Cotton Bros, Social Primer, Martin Dingman for example. They also carry iconic brands like Barbour, Hudson Satler, J.W. Hulme & Co. Their Filson selection is pretty damn good and mixed in you’ll find Beretta, Wm Lamb & Sons, and even Yeti coolers.  I was just window shopping but couldn’t leave without a set of Smathers & Branson knit rainbow trout coasters for the man-cave.

They also have an immaculate and well-put together website. Their cracking website has a an extensive selection of “Made in America” goods, and a great blog with stories and recipes from the OR guy’s adventures. You can find guidance on many tasks in the OR man’s life from making Venison poppers to picking a hunting dog, and from tips on being a groomsman to how to stock your bar. Its short, to the point advice that can instantly improve a guy’s life. So, If you’re in Atlanta (Buckhead) or Athens, they are absolutely worth a stop in. They’ll make you a Makers and Ginger if you’re so inclined while you browse. Or hit the website or wait a just a little while because they’ve got expansion plans for Nashville, Houston, Charleston and DC.

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After our walk around downtown, we knew we needed to eat something, so we hit Mama’s Boy on the way out of town. It was a balmy 50 degrees so we sat outside and ate fried green tomatoes, biscuits and gravy, and short rib hash, while washing it down with some the best strawberry lemonade I’ve ever had.

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Hunting Black Friday

The rut is in full swing in Georgia with bucks chasing does everywhere according to the forum. So I’m going hunting with my brother-in-law in Elberton again this year. Its only fitting, while the girls hunt for deals on Black Friday, I’ll hunt for meat instead. Last Xmas, we gave it a shot only to find that every yokel in the county popping off their new toys which scared the deer away for miles.

I’m assured the stand has been productive as two nice does have already been taken this season. Apparently, venison burgers and italian sausage await me in Decatur.  I may just have to “finish” the sausages in my brother’s smoker too.

Not to knock shopping too much since I do enjoy it, I’ve got a backup plan in case we get rained out. With guidance from  Red Clay Soul,  I’ve got a few places I may have to wander in to.

Picking My Pocket

Let’s face it, Gilt ain’t for everybody, but damn if they didn’t pioneer one cool-ass way to shop. The “members-only” limited time online sales model has given rise to countless imitators, but until recently few have targeted the average joe who enjoys his masculinity but finer things too. Enter Huckberry, Onward Reserve, The Clymb, and The Breakroom.

Huckberry is my handsdown favorite so far. The site is clean, functional, and the product is very tastefully edited, weekly “editions” include apparel, gear and travel stuff for the active guy or gal with a strong emphasis on handmade, crafted objects from mostly American makers. Carrying unique gear like Ka-bar knives, J.L. Lawson hand-forged pieces, and Ball and Buck Dopp Kits, the San Francisco-based Huckberry is killing it. Their blog needs stronger editorial–less “we found it on the interwebs”–but will tighten in time. Next-up for them, their own-brand label kicks-off with the perfect ball-cap.

Atlanta-based Onward Reserve appears to be the next generation of the Five Mile Club and is unabashedly gentile and monied, bringing the prep flavor to your wardrobe. My guess is you’re reading Garden & Gun, you’ll love their Martin Dingman loafers, Southern Proper bowties and Smathers & Branson needlepoint caps and belts. Mainstays, Barbour, Filson and Ray-ban are also found in their online shop but carefully edited to appeal to the southern gentleman. The college-gear is less interesting but appropriate for their target audience. Their blog, The Gazette, has interesting backstories behind the brands.

The Clymb is for the seasoned sportsman and sportswoman who really knows their gear, be it kayaking, climbing or camping. The Portland, Oregon-based company tackles well-known skate brands like Element, but goes deep with paddle gear from Sanborn and knives and assorted tools from SOG, and Tool Logic. You’ll also find Fjallraven, Columbia and Jansport, but the selection doesn’t feel like overstock, seconds or remainders–its quality and curated. Look for their new blog “Adventures” coming soon.


This last one is a real gem. Seems Danner has started their own private sale site as part of their e-commerce strategy called The Breakroom. Just last week they were featuring their infamous Stumptown boots HALF-OFF if you had the right size feet. While highly targeted and singularly focused, it makes sense for this increasingly sartorial brand. I think we’re going to see more brands go this route in the future.