PITTSFIELD -- Phil Bastow needed a Christmas gift for his mother -- and he found it Monday evening at Dottie’s Coffee Lounge.

The city resident made his purchase during "MANual," the coffee shop’s inaugural three-hour event catering to the last-minute male holiday shopper.

"I had help from some nice women, but don’t print what I bought my mom," Bastow said showing the present to an Eagle reporter.

Jessica Lamb, Dottie’s owner, and a friend came up with "MANual" as a way to help men shop for their wives, girlfriends and mothers two days before Christmas.

"No one really caters to the men and I’ve had fun promoting it," said Lamb. "We hope to do it for Valentine’s Day."

In all, six vendors set up displays inside Dottie’s at the corner of North Street and Maplewood Avenue selling hand-made items, chocolates and other gifts for that special woman in a man’s life. Jenna Lanphear of Old Soul Inc. was offering homemade earrings, knitted hats and scarves

"There a lot of lost souls looking for help," said Lanphear. "I know my husband was out shopping [Monday], a last-minute shopper himself but a good gift-giver."

For the health-concious person on a guy’s Christmas list, Crossfit Pittsfield was on hand selling memberships at the newly opened fitness and exercise business on East Street.

Co-owner Erica Law says those who join will get "hooked" on the old-fashioned approach to staying in shape.

"About 95 percent of the people who are members come every day -- they’re really dedicated," Law said.

Jamie Cahillane, a regular at Dottie’s, enjoyed the male-centric shopping experience and managed to find a last-minute gift for his wife.

"I was pretty much done shopping, but decided to come as I was invited through Facebook," he said. "I got some good ideas for later, like birthdays."

To reach Dick Lindsay:
or (413) 496-6233