A few years ago while riding bikes down the Chandler Bike path in North Hollywood, my boyfriend and I made a cut through on a little side street full of industrial looking buildings and barbed wire. As we biked, I made a mental note of some strange looking orange tree branches shooting up from piles of what looked like furniture. Or was it furniture? It was hard to tell, so a few weeks later I went exploring and stumbled upon Off the Wall. It’s hard to explain this place, but I knew Kelli would appreciate it as it’s a very ‘only in LA’ type of business. So, off we went to the fabulous side of NoHo (sarcasm intended). It’s always so much more fun to explore a place like this with another person. That way you have a witness as to the amazing, one of kind items OTW.
The New York Times proclaimed it as ‘the best 15 minutes in LA’ and we have to agree. It’s so cool that in fact Michael Jackson borrowed the name of the store for a little record he called Off the Wall back in the 80’s.
Even better on this visit, we got to meet the owner, Dennis, who himself was a rare treasure. He happily told us the stories and histories behind some of his pieces. Ocean liner furniture and art, the Wiltern Theater, the Oviatt Building in downtown LA, just to name a few. Dennis is also a regular on the reality show, Storage Wars on A&E, as he is the ‘go to guy’ for series star Barry Weiss. Off the Wall is a huge warehouse full of not only weird stuff, but beautiful mid century and art deco furnishing. Best of all? It’s all for sale and Dennis is willing to deal.
This location in NoHo is heir nitty gritty warehouse. Our next trip will have to be to their gorgeous showroom on Melrose. I was salivating just looking at the website. Check it out and swoon! OTW Melrose. Nestled between the Italian club chairs, you will also find the carnival style mummified Alligator boy, and Evil Kneival pinball machine and what I swear is a life size sculpture of the Flying Monkeys from Wizard of Oz. (see pics!). I started to have a panic attack just looking at what was one of my childhood phobias.
After I took some deep breaths, we continued out explorations. Packed high were all sorts of oddities, along with Hollywood memorabilia and vintage everything. The bar carts alone are worth the trip! The best thing about the place had to have been our tour guide, Dennis. If you get a chance to visit the store, look for him and just hang out and let him talk.
Wow, just wow. Teri said we’re going to North Hollywood. I had no idea what our time would hold. After passing by the color infused walls of the Chandler bike path, we veered off the path onto Satsuma Avenue to what looked like a very industrial alley complete with barbed wire. She had been down this street before and knew about the treasures behind the fences.
The gate was part way open. We weren’t sure if we could go in but we forged in. The owner Dennis spotted us and welcomed us into his paradise of collected treasures. There is something for everyone here. From the nostalgic to the odd. Where else can you find a gorgeous carved glass piece from an Asian altar, juxtaposed with the “mummified” carnival body of “Alligator Boy” and two valuable Giovanetti club chairs? Dennis is passionate about his collecting and a wealth of knowledge that he’s willing to share with the stories behind the furnishings of the warehouse. According to him he “lives his life in layers”. He told us this before he knew the name of our blog. When I heard this I knew we were meant to relay this story to you.
I can’t wait to go back. There are layers and layers of interesting collectibles here, especially a Lane mid-century coffee table that has my name on it. Hope it’s still there when I return!