There's a place in Brenham that is all things man.
The American Man Cave isn't so much a store as it is a philosophy and its owner is the chief believer.
Bruce Margolis, Caveman to his friends, started the business that is now operating two locations.
In a shop in Downtown Brenham, a caveman dwells.
"They will tell you this place is crazy fun," laughed Caveman (Margolis).
Depending on the time of day, when you walk into the Man Cave, you're offered coffee, water, soda, beer or a glass of wine. All of it is complimentary, says Margolis, part of the atmosphere and experience.
The American Man Cave isn't just a store front; it's the front line on a battle to take back respect and freedom. For Margolis, it's a battle that kept him alive.
Margolis, or Caveman, was an engineering manager working around the state and world. He'd had several heart attacks due to a birth defect he didn't know about. Just more than a year ago, he started getting sick. His doctor put him on short-term disability. It was that moment that Margolis had to make a choice.
On February 11th last year, Margolis got an ultimatum from his doctor; go on permanent disability or do something with less stress. That morning he came up with the Man Cave. Three weeks later, they opened the first location in Bellville.
"When you've had two heart attacks and, if you don't change your life, you're going to have a third? And I'd had three bouts with cancer," explained Margolis, "The stress of what if it doesn't work, what's the worse that can happen? It doesn't work."
After rushing to open the Bellville location in time for the community's annual market days, the first question he was asked was how long the store had been open. Margolis answered honestly.
He laughs about it now. After going ten rounds with that first customer trying to explain just how new the store was, he spends a lot of time explaining the "Man Cave Movement."
"People are digging it!" said Margolis.
The store boasts some impressive items. The motto behind all of it is "It's not what you need, but everything you want."
"You want a cannon? Well hey! We've got one! You want a motorcycle? We've got that. Want Loraine Newman's original cone head? We've got it! A letter from Lyndon Baines Johnson before he was president? We've got it. I mean, Fred Astaire's top hat from the movie Top Hat? We've got it," listed Margolis. The variety is enough to satisfy most every customer.
More than a year after opening the Bellville location, he's got two caves. His newest in Brenham.
Margolis seeks out items made in Texas or in the US. He says it's important to feature things created locally as well. His wife makes all of the jewelry the store features in the "Woman Cave" section.
Now thanks to a customer and TV producer, Caveman could be on your television soon.
Margolis and his team are part of television pilot for a reality show. The producer working on it found the American Man Cave almost completely by accident.
"He and his wife had gotten lost," said Margolis. The two were taking a drive through the country and wandered into Brenham. They saw Margolis' mascot, the short caveman with crazy hair, and had to stop.
"They were just so enthralled that we kept talking until after closing time," Margolis explained. They ended up going to dinner and getting to know each other. After hearing Margolis' story behind the store, he pitched the idea of a reality TV show.
"He said 'In the world of reality shows, you are something fresh. You are something different. I've produced reality shows before. Think about it.' And it sort of developed from there," Margolis recalled.
Caveman thought about the idea, and loved it. They're three weeks into shooting.
"It's pretty unique," said Margolis. His idea is gaining in popularity. He doesn't want to just survive the growth, he wants to adapt as it changes.
"We want to be the store for guys. Not just a store, we want to be the 'Cave Man Movement' to teach guys to enjoy their lives and make the best of it," shared Margolis.
The American Man Cave is getting a lot of attention from all across the country. Right now, Margolis is looking at expanding his idea outside of Texas.
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