ECHO PARK — 40-year-old Chris Cortez never outgrew his interest in games, toys and childhood pursuits, like Star Wars action figures and comic books. Now, the marketing consultant is turning his passion into a business: a toy, gaming and comic book store called Alternate Universe. The shop, located in the same Sunset Boulevard minimall that houses Sunset Beer and L.A Pizza, is scheduled to open as soon as this weekend.
Cortez, who lives in Silver Lake, said Alternate Universe is a one-stop shop for merchandise that would usually require visits to several stores. Expect to find shelves stocked with Transformers and Hot Wheels as well as popular board and card games, such as Magic: The Gathering. But besides selling toys and games, Cortez said he wants Alternate Universe to serve as a gathering place for gaming meet ups and groups.
While Echo Park has plenty of coffee houses, vintage shops, beauty salons and bars, Alternate Universe looks to be one of the only toy and gaming shops in the neighborhood.