Yes, it was enormous. And I understand the typical shopper spends three hours per visit -- according to the company, they anticipate 11,000 visitors per day. But clearly, the outdoor-themed megastore speaks to a different demographic. If I'm going to drive to a store the size of Miller Park that's outside Milwaukee, I'll take IKEA.
But my dad found a great winter coat. Especially if Milwaukee's winter temperatures drop to those of, say, the South Pole. The prices were reasonable and the selection was comprehensive, to say the least. You can literally choose from dozens of fleece and down vests.
That said, I'm not just being cynical when I say that not much about Cabela's blew me away. If you're into it (and I'm not), they have a snack bar full of bison, venison and other big game selections. If you need camo pajamas or anything at all that's blaze orange (and I don't), they have an ample selection. If you want to take target practice in their shooting gallery (OK, that looked pretty cool), it's there, too. They also have tons of ice fishing, boating and camping supplies. To their credit, the camping and outdoor cooking section was very impressive, including some stuff I've never seen elsewhere.
The clothing selection reminded me of a mix between Farm and Fleet and L.L. Bean. Nothing stood out as extremely stylish, though I remain intrigued with the Carhartt jacket. It did look pretty warm.
But as I left the store, I had the distinct feeling that I'd just paid a visit to Ted Nugent's house. Hey, I like beef jerky as much as the next guy, but this place was really, really focused on animals and different ways to hunt and stuff them. The clientele, which on average was about 50 years old and white, looked like they were having a great time, soaking it all in. More power to them -- but this place just wasn't up my alley.
Ted Nugent said: You know, some awful hot chicks have been known to frequent the Nugent home. Stay away from my daughters, though, or I'll use my crossbow on you.
Bricklayer said: You Urban Hipsters are just too cool! Painfully so! And "Totally Agree," you are just to (sic) smart for Wisconsin.
IKEA v Cabela's said: IKEA carries trendy, disposable crap. Cabela's, if nothing else, carries clothing and camping gear of a reasonable quality at a reasonable price.
...and driving "outside of Milwaukee" is just another "the east side is the center of the universe" delusion. Richfield is less than 30 minutes from OMC World HQ. IKEA is 90 minutes in good traffic.
blackpanther said: You just don't like it because you haven't realized that killing animals is the ultimate in manliness. There is nothing quite as invigorating as sitting in a tree for 6 hours, drunk, then shooting an unsuspecting deer in its neck, watching it stagger around choking on it's own blood, while you wait to shoot it in the head, then cut its warm guts out. Now there is a clothing store that celebrates this virtuous path.
Chris Hunter said: Normally love your work, Andy, but your review is a little like sending a KISS fan to cover the MSO. If you're not really into something in the first place (hunting gear, venison, white guys??) you may not appreciate the nuances that make it cool for its fans. I'm not an outdoorsman, myself, so I wouldn't know a good hunting store from a bad one. But, I'm sure you guys have a more Wisconsinish person on staff who would know if Cabela's is just a big Gander Mountain, or really something special.
Show me the other 3 Talkbacks
8 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Oct. 28, 2014
I really didn't have any hope left after 25 days. As we entered the fourth week without our sweet, kind, missing cat, Jabie, I was beginning to come to peace with the reality that I'd never see her again. Then, yesterday, less than four blocks from home, a woman called my wife and said she had cajoled a black cat into her basement. My wife bolted home from work and immediately recognized Jabie coming up the stairs. Just to be sure, she took her to the closest vet to scan her microchip. And it came back as a match from Elmbrook Humane Society.
Published Oct. 22, 2014
Apple's new killer app, Apple Pay, may indeed someday change global commerce for good. That day isn't here yet, however. Three days after launch, my experiences with the NFC-based payment / tap to pay system show that Apple Pay is still very, very beta. At this point, you may find yourself using it barely at all.
Published Oct. 21, 2014
Mazen Muna, the owner of the Dogg Haus group of restaurants, shared his plans today to launch PhantomBar this spring at 780 N. Jefferson St. in Cathedral Square. The bar is under the umbrella of his new 12AM Management Group, which Muna says he founded to house "the new wave of businesses being added to the portfolio."
Published Oct. 16, 2014
Well before the Chinese eCommerce company Alibaba began making IPO rumblings in America, I was familiar with its offerings. I'd never bought anything from it ... until this month.
Published Oct. 8, 2014
Once upon a time, I figured that the magnificent, serene and beautiful Door County is a place only to be enjoyed by adults. Maybe my priorities have changed, though, because even after 20 years of visits, only recently did I come to the conclusion that kids could fall in love with this magical retreat, too. Turns out I was right. After the summer rush died down, we took our daughter up to Door County for the first time this weekend. It was a wonderful journey.
Published Oct. 7, 2014
Just about a week ago, our sweet little cat, Jabie, disappeared from our Bay View home. Maybe one of us left the patio door open a bit, I'm not sure. But after hours upon hours of walking the neighborhood, taping up posters and talking to every stranger we see, she's still nowhere to be found.
Published Sept. 27, 2014
I've been lucky enough to see the Dandy Warhols live several times over the last few years. But each time, I've had to travel to Chicago or Madison to hear them, which is a small sacrifice for one of my favorite bands over the last 15-plus years. So the opportunity to see the Dandys at Turner Hall was a welcome one, and as usual, provided for a great venue to see the Portland-based band Saturday night.
Published Sept. 23, 2014
Sunday morning, we headed to Mequon to pick apples, although not to Barthel's. On a friend's tip, we visit R-Apples (Roesch Farm), right next door at 12422 Farmdale Rd. What a wonderful, low-key experience. Not only was it peaceful and quiet, we picked apples and pears of many different varieties. Then we headed to their vegetable garden, and picked peppers and raspberries.
Published Sept. 20, 2014
I've had a full day now to play with the brand new iPhone 6. Like most pieces of new technology, it's a mixed bag. iPhones aren't new to me - I've owned every one but the first model, and I use mine nonstop as both a work and personal device. This model is different in many ways, but as usual, the biggest story here is the software, not the hardware.
Published Sept. 16, 2014
Entering play tonight, the Brewers are 1.5 games out of the playoff picture. Right now, all of Milwaukee should be very excited about the Brewers, starting with me. Yet, for some reason, we're not.