Otto in Downtown Fullerton Retains its Pop-Up-Shop Greatness

The occasional pop-up shop/gallery Otto was once a brick-and-mortar shop next to its famous sister store, Out of Vogue, selling midcentury-modern furniture, designer toys, and pieces made by local and select global artists. Though it now rests in a remote section of the larger antique-minded store, Otto has preserved its original curatorial tastes.

“I have to shop around to make sure we’re not carrying the same things as other people. If we were, we’d drop it,” says owner Pam Atta. She and her late husband, punk icon Mike Atta, opened Otto in 2001 with an artist-centric inventory ranging from crafts to designer toys. It also became a successful venue for art shows during downtown Fullerton’s monthly art walk, featuring cult stars such as Lissette Alvarez, Tim Biskup, Matt Simon and Chris Leavens. Unfortunately, complications with Mike’s health made both stores impossible to maintain, so the stand-alone Otto closed in 2013, a year before he passed away from cancer.

Though downsized considerably, Otto still carries works by local artist Wotto; a few odds and ends from lowbrow designer toy brands Tokidoki, Acme, Ugly Dolls and Gamma Go; pieces by Tara McPherson; books; home décor; shirts and accessories; and more. The merchandise is more interesting and random than anything you’d find at Urban Outfitters, yet less expensive—all indicative of Atta’s vast knowledge of pop culture and kitsch trends, as well as contemporary art.

Otto opens up for sales every once in a while, although Atta admits that if it’s a slow business day at Out of Vogue, she’ll open up the closed-off rear corner to anyone interested. And she has ideas for the next chapter of Otto, including bringing back art shows, restoring an online presence and planning more special events. “It’s a work in progress,” Atta says. “[Otto is] something I just can’t let go of.”

As it’s the only store of its kind, hopefully we’ll never have to.

Otto, inside Out of Vogue, 109 E. Common-wealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 879-6647;

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