Austin Style Pick: YETI Moves In
WITH ITS FIRST AND ONLY STORE, AUSTIN’S PREMIUM COOLER COMPANY DELIVERS A LOT MORE THAN ICE THAT LASTS FOR DAYS.
by Anne Bruno
Photographs by Hayden Spears
IF AUSTIN’S COOL FACTOR WERE KEPT IN A cooler, it’d be a YETI.
As it happens, our city’s unmistakable vibe is nowhere near melting and can hardly be contained, even inside an incredibly sturdy, bear-proof, explosion-proof, hyper-insulated box. On the contrary, the culture and way of life that keeps Austin living large (and in-charge, as a favored destination for visitors as well as those looking for a new home base) continue to spread across the country and even the globe.
The recent opening of YETI’s flagship store—a retail space and three-dimensional celebration of the no-holds-barred-live-life-to-the-fullest attitude embraced by the YETI Nation, as its uber-loyal customers are known—is set to up Austin’s game even further. With an outdoor bar, a stage for live music, a screening area showing films depicting what adventurous outside living looks like around the world, as well as a full calendar of events, the place is far more of an experience than it is a store. So far, it’s drawing throngs of visitors (locals and tourists alike) to its South Congress and Barton Springs Road corner location like Parrotheads to a Jimmy Buffet concert.
Talk to fishermen, hunters, campers, tailgaters and pretty much anyone who likes their socializing and sporting to take place in the great outdoors and you’ll see how this hometown sweetheart of a brand is well on its way to Austin-icon status. With actual treasures on-site from living legends such as barbeque pit-master Aaron Franklin and neon sign artist Evan Voyles, the YETI Flagship pays homage to its Texan roots while selling its goods—ranging from $4.99 decals to a $1,300 cooler—in an authentic way you have to see to believe. Even if you only need your ice to last until you get home again, it’s worth the stop.