The Yeti company is known worldwide, but Austin is home to its first retail store.
The Yeti flagship store will open on South Congress Avenue and Barton Springs Road this coming week.
After two years of constructing and designing the store, it's almost time for it to make its debut.
“It had to be in the right location. Being an Austin company, we felt like S. Congress had so much history and character, and with music being such a big part of our culture, we fell in love with this building and the history of this building and the location,” said Tony Kaplan, Director of Consumer experience at Yeti.
The Yeti building was constructed in the 1930s as a warehouse. Between six and eight years later, a series of floods hit the Austin area covering the Congress Avenue bridge. The building survived and the flood line is still visible on the wall today. That's part of why Yeti developers wanted to make the store about more than just sales.
“We have a bunch of unique items. We have a stage where we're going to have regular concerts here. We're kicking it off this weekend with a full lineup of local musicians who are going to play short acoustic sets Thursday-Sunday, which we plan to have regular programming musicians, films, screenings, speakers, it's really a community space,” Kaplan said.
The classic yeti tumblers and coolers can still be found throughout the building, but there are also many other things you can't find anywhere else.
“I think this store, a flagship as we call it, is as much a museum as it is a retail store. It's really about experience, and learning, and of course you can buy all the products here, but it's really about leaving a mark and a memory for our fans,” said Kaplan.
Memories like Pitmaster Aaron Franklin's original backyard barbeque, and Flip Pallot's fishing skiff can be found inside the building. Staff will also be able to recommend outdoor activities to locals and tourists alike and Yeti plans to sell fishing and hunting licenses, too.
“Among many things, we really just want them inspired to get outside whether it's in surfing, hunting, fishing,” Kaplan said.
There will also be limited edition merchandise that can only be purchased at the Austin store and for those hoping to add a little flare to their Yeti coolers, a custom shop will offer exactly that.
“We have an amazing network of retailers that carry our products, but like I said, this is really a place to experience Yeti, experience the brand,” Kaplan said.
The grand opening of the Yeti flagship store will be Thursday, February 23 and it will be open 10am-8pm every day after that.