News

A new Hello Kitty cafe just opened, and my inner child can't function

There's a cocktail bar. Enough said.

By Maya McDowell

Millennials love things with a nostalgia factor (myself included). It's fun to think back to good 'ol days (flip phones, CDs, Backstreet Boys, etc.), and then our mental trip down memory lane or verbal convo is cut short because we have to — well — check Instagram, or skip to the next song on Spotify. At the new Hello Kitty Grand Cafe, millennials can bask in nostalgic joy in what looks like an Instagram waiting to happen.

As one of my coworkers said, "people are gonna gram the shit outta that." Indeed. The Hello Kitty Grand Cafe, opening September 14 in Irvine, California, is the first-ever permanent cafe in the US featuring "dual experiential spaces," according to a press release. There's a fast-casual cafe open to the public, as well as a separate private room for reservation-only afternoon tea and cocktail service in the evening.

The cafe has "grab and go" seating for up to 12 people (I'm seeing a line out the door in Hello Kitty's future). The menu includes made-to-order mini donuts (cinnamon sugar, matcha, and cookies 'n cream) and a pick-your-own set of four Sanrio character mini cakes for $15.

You're going to want to pick up a gold bow handle mug, or a sequined Chubby Bunny bow. Okay, forget it — just get both.

The white walls in the cafe have kawaii Hello Kitty icons and one-of-kind artwork created specifically for this location.

The best part of the cafe, though, is The Bow Room at Hello Kitty Grand Cafe, which is "a hidden reservations-only pink oasis with modern, sleek Hello Kitty-branded fixtures and a refined finish throughout, pouring afternoon tea by day, and cocktail service by night".

You will need reservations for the Afternoon Tea Service, which is $55 (USD) per person, on Wednesdays through Sundays. The tea includes an assortment of fresh seasonal fruit, savory tea sandwiches, and a selection of sweet treats. There's even Hello Kitty-shaped sugars, so get your Snapchat ready. The cafe also offers an extensive tea selection.

At night, The Bow Room will become a cocktail bar (for ages 21 and up) beginning at 5:00 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays. The cocktail bar is by reservation only, as well. Cocktail service at The Bow Room will include cocktails with a Hello Kitty twist with fun names such as, "You Had Me At Hello" and "Matcha Matcha." One of the drinks is even served with a Hello Kitty ice cube. See? Instagram heaven.

You can make reservations on the website, and something tells me they're going to go quick. What are you waiting for?! Order a "You Had Me At Hello", snap a pic, and watch the likes roll in.

Now take a look at this Harry Potter-themed cafe: