Californians flocked to the first stateside Hello Kitty Café in Irvine over the weekend.
The pop up restaurant offers treats inspired by the cartoon cat—or little girl who looks like a cat, rather—including bite-size pastries, cookies, artisanal sodas and coffee beverages from Portola Coffee Lab. Signature drinks include strawberry mint lemonade, peach iced tea and passion fruit tea. Menu prices range from $4 to $11.50 for desserts, and $3 to $5 for drinks.
Located in Giant Wheel Court at the Irvine Spectrum Center, the eatery also sells Hello Kitty merchandise.
The cafe itself is reminiscent of all things Hello Kitty. It’s housed in a pink bedazzled steel shipping container, adorned with her signature bows and other cartoon features.
Excited fans couldn’t wait for a sneak peek—or first taste—of the signature items. According to the OC Register, over 200 people attended the store’s soft opening on Friday. The café couldn’t handle the crowd and was temporarily shuttered.
According to numerous social media reports, patrons over the weekend didn’t fare much better with many waiting in line four or five hours just to get a tiny cupcake and coffee.
But we must admit, the pint-sized pastries are pretty cute.
Managing partner of the café Allan Tea told the register that the pop-container will stay in the Irvine mall for a year before moving to the next to-be-determined location. Tea says he has already started negotiations with Hello Kitty’s parent company Sanrio to bring a brick-and-mortar café to Irvine soon.
Hello Kitty Café opens at 11 a.m. during the week and 10 a.m. on weekends.