Best Fantasy Store, August 2010
Purveyor of wizardry, fairy magic, and all things vampire, Whimsic Alley recently moved from Santa Monica to Mid Wilshire, doubling its space. The name alludes to the retail hub in Harry Potter's world, so no surprise about the inventory of cloaks, hats, uniforms, feathered pens, and figurines that would look right at home in Hogwarts. One section is devoted to Twilight (the best-selling item is a pillowcase bearing Edward's glowing visage). The pièce de résistance is the 1,450-square-foot re-creation of Hogwarts' Great Hall—complete with flaming gargoyles and floating candles—available to rent for events. The hall is also the site of Hogwarts Academy, a summer day camp for aspiring witches and wizards.