Best of Columbus 2009

Best Gift Shop

By  and 
From the Best Gift Shop edition

What the Rock?!

1194 N. High St., Short North

614-294-9428

Web: whattherock.com

Unless Grandma's a Ramones fan, you may not find a lot of gift ideas for her at What the Rock?! For everyone else, you're all set.

Opened in October 2006 a couple of doors down from Surly Girl Saloon, and now in a slightly larger space two blocks north, this reader favorite makes its mark with fun, affordable items with a rocker bent.

In selection, proprietors Mike Renner and Heather Ziegler go the extra mile, focusing on quality and featuring Ohio-made product like J. Fair Designs' chain metal bracelets and Sweet Stella's necklaces of fried eggs, steaks and desserts (the walls display a different local artist each month).

They also keep things fresh with lots of variety and new items arriving regularly. There's nowhere else in town where you can find a satin-lined tote emblazoned with the cover of the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers (the zipper conceals an extra pocket), a Sinatra onesie, a miniature nun catapult, a Freddie Kruger guitar pick necklace and books about the making of Let it Be - both The Beatles and The Replacements' versions.

According to Ziegler, coming soon are fedoras and skinny ties for men, a new selection of belts and some parasol umbrellas with prints and ruffles. Grandma actually might like one of those.

Runners up: Rivet, Collier West

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