If you're hungry, buy the bait
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIFORNIA -- For well over a year, my wife and I had been watching the construction of the new Bass Pro Shop "Disneyland" off the 15 Freeway in Rancho Cucamonga. As an avid fisherman, I was interested in having an upscale outdoors retailer in the area. We got there around 6:00pm on a Monday evening and took one of the tables in the bar area. The waiter was excellent. We order clams on the half-shell for an appetizer, mahi-mahi and their "signature" grouper dish. The oysters were served without ice and room temperature. The mahi-mahi was uncooked (they just pour hot sauce on the top) and the accompanying baked potato looked like it was a weekend left-over. The BEST was the signature grouper which was still so frozen that it could only be cut with a knife and then you could hear it sawing through the ice crystals.
We contacted the manager (who was preoccupied chatting up the female staff) and he said he wanted to take our food back to the kitchen to "show the cooking staff what they're doing wrong." He said we would not be charged for the uneaten food and asked whether WE wanted him to comp our drinks. Since we had finished the two beers and two margaritas, we declined his offer. Tab for 4 drinks and oyster bait? $48.00. They gave us a card allowing us a free entre after we bought ten and we tore it up and left the pieces on our cash when we paid the bill.
The physical store itself is very impressive but the sales staff is indifferent and the fly fishing selection is limited and over-priced. Serious fishermen will do better at specialty shops, Wal-Mart and on-line. I've heard the same thing from serious hunters. I have seen lots of positive reviews in the local papers and on-line outdoors sites, but they are basically product placement "pay-for-play."
The store was apparently the beneficiary of some huge local government subsidies and tax breaks to guarantee its costs of construction. That may explain the "not ready for prime time" approach because nothing there seems to reflect any real sense of business or marketing.
A true disappointment!!!