Irvine's Hottest New Club Is the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe
Sanrio is about to open a different kind of cat cafe. The Japanese company behind Hello Kitty (as well as Gudetama, everyone's favorite underachieving egg yolk with a butt) is set to debut its first-ever Hello Kitty Grand Cafe on Thursday, September 14 at the Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine, California.
If your first question is, "But wait, aren't there already a bunch of Hello Kitty Cafes?" you're only kind of wrong. There are three US locations, all in California (San Diego, San Jose, and Rancho Cucamonga), as well as a fleet of Hello Kitty Cafe trucks criss-crossing the country (you can keep track of their routes, here). But the Irvine outpost is the first to offer fast-casual dining, an afternoon tea service, a reservation-only private room, and nightly cocktails all under one roof (hence the addition of the word "Grand").
Like in other Hello Kitty Cafes, guests can order adorably on-theme snacks like bow-topped pocket pies and macarons emblazoned with our feline hero's face (as seen above). Unlike in other Hello Kitty Cafes, the Irvine location also offers exclusive treats like made-to-order mini hot donuts (cinnamon sugar, matcha, cookies n’ cream) and tiny cakes modeled after popular Sanrio characters.
But the big draw here is the aforementioned, aggressively pink private room, a.k.a. The Bow Room. By day (Wednesday through Sunday), it offers a reservation-only tea service ($55 per person), complete with fresh seasonal fruit, savory tea sandwiches, sweets, and, of course, an array of teas (with Hello Kitty sugar cubes on the side).
At night, it transforms into a 21-and-up cocktail bar. (Yes, most of the drinks are pink. Yes, the ice cubes are shaped like Hello Kitty's face. Yes, you can buy Hello Kitty's own wine by the glass.) Some sample libations: Matcha Matcha (Japanese whiskey, yogurt, matcha, and yuzu), and You Had Me at Hello (Cachaca, aperol, lemon, sherry, and pineapple).
While there's still a week to go before opening day, you can book your Bow Room reservations now (and get a look at the full menu) at sanrio.com.