If you’re a fan of Hello Kitty, one of your bucket list items must surely be a visit to the first Hello Kitty Grand Café in Irvine, California. It’s the first ever permanent café in the U.S. which features “dual experiential spaces,” according to their press release. There’s a casual café which is open to the public, and also a separate private room which is reservation only for afternoon tea and cocktail service in the evening.
There is only seating for up to 12 people, so expect queues if you want to experience the Hello Kitty Grand Café. The menu has made-to-order mini donuts in a range of flavors including cinnamon sugar, matcha, and cookies ‘n cream. You can also order a pick-your-own set of 4 Sanrio character mini cakes for $15, so it’s not necessarily a budget-friendly place.
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You can also pick up a range of Hello Kitty merchandise, such as a gold bow handle mug or a sequined Chubby Bunny hair bow. The décor is, as you would expect, overwhelmingly pink and white, with kawaii Hello Kitty icons and one-off pieces of artwork created just for this location.
The reservation-only Bow Room is a “hidden pink oasis with modern, sleek Hello Kitty branded fixtures and a refined finish throughout, pouring afternoon tea by day, and cocktail service by night.”
The Afternoon Tea Service is a rather steep $55 per person, available on Wednesdays through Sundays. The tea includes an assortment of fresh seasonal fruit, savory tea sandwiches, and a selection of sweet foods. Even the sugars are shaped like Hello Kitty, and the whole thing has been designed to be as Instagrammable as possible.
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The Bow Room becomes a 21-and-over cocktail bar from 5pm on Wednesdays through Sunday, and it’s also reservation only. The cocktails have a Hello Kitty theme, with names like “You Had Me at Hello” and “Matcha Matcha”. One of the drinks is also served with a Hello Kitty ice cube.
Reservations can be made on the website, and they’re expected to go quick. If you’re lucky enough to grab one, take your phone or camera to catch the whole sugar-pink kitty-ness on display, and watch your social media likes start climbing!