Cudahy >General Merchandise Stores > Dretzka's Department Store
4746 S Packard Ave, Cudahy, WI | Directions 5311042.958005 -87.860058
An Episode from Rod Sterling's Night Gallery – You don't need the Retro Television Network (HD TV) to experience an episode of Rod Sterling's Night Gallery. A recent visit to Dretzka's Department Store in Cudahy, WI provided hours of inspiration for just such an episode. The door creakily opens and the bell rings indicating a customer has arrived. A clerk emerges through curtains at the top of the stairs. The smell of old clothing fills your nose. There seems to be no heat in the building on this frigid January day. At first glance, I thought I had entered a vintage clothing store. But upon closer inspection, I realized that these are original items of clothing (1960s and 1970s) most with the original tags (but with 2009 prices!). Women's double-knit polyester dresses and pantsuits. Housecoats. Nurses uniforms (dresses) from the 1970s. Golashes (or "rub#ers" as my Grandpa Jake called them) along with women's vinyl boots with fake fur trim and children's red rubber boots. A matching faux fur muffler and scarf reminded me of the dress-up "mink stole" I received for my 6th birthday. Men's polyester leisure suits ($200) in ghastly colors of orange and royal blue. Men's red and white gym shorts (who wears short shorts?) could have been used by the Badgers 1976 basketball team. In the basement, you wil find shelves containing bottles of white creme shoe polish that have been sitting so long the solids and liquids have layered out and the labels are peeling off. There are boxes of previously used buttons in blues and blacks and greys. There are racks of shoes that look like they have been slightly worn which have been marked down for "final sale". The mannequin of a child dressed in flannel pajamas caught the corner of my eye as I turned to go back up the stairs, causing me to gasp and make a beeline toward the exit, thankful that I survived the experience. It's as if purchases came to a halt around 1978 at Dretzka's Department store but the prices just kept going up.
My boyfriend and I like to find unique stores. Well Dretzkas is more than unique in some ways it was scary! Three stories of items that have been sitting on the shelves since the store opened. Moldy old leather shoes, polyester pants, and some vintage furniture. It says Dretkas Department store, yes it is if you need something from the 60s or 70s! Have fun it may bring back memmories from you past or feel like you entered the Twilight Zone.
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