Sunday 1 October 2017

The Store of Requirement

This is not a theme park post, but what are you gonna do.

Over the last two decades the Harry Potter books have spawned possibly the most successful creative franchise of all time. JK Rowling's Boy Wizard is a global juggernaut showing little sign of stopping. The extended universe of the Fantastic Beasts movies will keep this franchise fresh for many years to come.

The theme park world has been similarly transformed by Harry Potter with the multiple Wizarding World of Harry Potters that have opened at Universal parks round the world. They've set the standard for theming and immersion for the next 10 years of Theme Park developments. And the London Stuidio tour is incredibly popular.  It feels like Harry Potter is everywhere.

Except that it isn't. Places like Australia have a huge fanbase for Harry,  but we are a million miles from anywhere that we can have a Butterbeer. Until now...

The Store of Requirement is a brand new Harry Potter themed shop in Samford, just outside of  Brisbane in Queensland. It's been setup in a converted chapel and brilliantly themed to the HP universe. And they have Butterbeer on tap!

Let's take a look at the shop...

Signs for the shop are really nicely designed, and while they don't say "Harry Potter" as such (and probably can't for legal reasons), they are consistent with the care that has been taken with putting this shop together.

The shop runs 5 days a week, and the signs continue to be sprinkled with hints of what is inside.

The chapel that the shop is built in has beautiful stained glass windows, that really adds to the old English feel inside. 
When first entering the shop, you are greeted by the Sorting Hat. At various times we saw staff members (all dressed in Harry Potter style) using the Sorting Hat to sort youngsters into the various Hogwarts houses (and take photos). Very neat!

The shop is decked out with merchandise and memorabilia from every part of the Harry Potter universe.
While it's clearly a shop, but even the most over the top merch (see the giant stuff harry) does not feel out of place.

There are brooms for sale, and incidentally I did read online that the Queensland Quidditch association has been known to have meets and training sessions in the park across the road. Not joking!

And all manner of Weasley and Weasley treats.

The front half of the shop is dedicated to everything that you can buy, the back of it takes on a more House Common-room vibe with comfy couches and cool air conditioning (a blessing on the day we went).

It is here where you find some of the more unique (read expensive) items on display. Seriously cool stuff!!

While my photos might not show it, this place was utterly packed on the day we visited. Niche stores like this live and die by the strength of their patronage, so at least for now that is a very promising sign. The most popular item for sale, and I think what will really keep this place afloat, was this...
On tap too!! Cost was $7.50 for a plain Butterbeer, $9.00 for a Butterbeer with cream.

I could not resist it.

Neither could my son.

Butterbeer Verdict: I loved it. While I haven't tasted the Universal Orlando (or WB Studio tour) versions, it was exactly how I have heard it described. It was sweet, and butterscotchy. Super cold and very refreshing. Others in our group like it more for the novelty than the taste, but I was sold on every front. The cream on top gave it sort of a Splice or Spider taste at the end, which is not what I've heard of the foam on the theme park Butterbeer, but it was still delicious.

The shop also had a number of delicious treats...
Delicious cupcakes, even some with Mandrakes on top, as well as frogs and other treats.

And of course the Golden Snitch.

My wife was a big fan of these cupcakes, she felt they were very clever!

Overall Verdict: The Store of Requirement is an immaculately themed and presented Harry Potter shop that all fans would enjoy. While the space they have setup in Samford is perfect, you could easily drop one of these into ever major city in Australia and they would make a killing. This is clearly run by fans for fans, and that is what is best about it. Being able to sit back with a Butterbeer, and watch all walks of life loving being immersed in this world, is what has made the WWoHP a massive success for Universal. While this is not on the same scale, it is awesome to have something that approaches that in our little corner of the globe. If you are a Harry Potter fan in the greater Brisbane area, you must visit this shop and then spread the word. This kind of unique shop can only last as long as it's fans support it. In my opinion, it is worth the visit for the Butterbeer alone!!


  1. Ohh all the attention to detail is great :) Always pays to have a store that starts from the love of it!

    1. Totally does! They are clearly committed to it. It helps I'm a fan, not like a crazy fan, but enough to get the details. So good!