The summer of Barbiecore is upon us, especially with the highly-anticipated Barbie movie out on July 21. But Mattel is giving the world more than a just movie this summer: It also has partnered up with Bucket Listers to launch pop-up cafés in New York City and Chicago so people can literally dine like a doll in a life-size, ’70s-themed Malibu Barbie Café. Master Chef semi-finalist Becky Brown is behind the food and drink menu, which has both kid and adult versions. Yes, cocktails are absolutely available on the grown-up menu, including a cosmo, French 71, mojito, a “think pink” margarita, and more.
ELLE.com has an exclusive first look inside the New York City café and all it’s serving up, from pink hummus (naturally) to burgers and cake pops. Scroll through below:
Julie Freeland, Mattel’s senior director of global location-based entertainment, told ELLE.com over email that the pop-up is the result of extensive planning.
“Bucket Listers and Mattel have been collaborating on the Cafe’s design for the past several months, with the build out of the cafe including its custom vignettes taking around several weeks to complete,” she said.
The vibe of the restaurant “channels the groovy beachside energy of 1970s Malibu, California, inspired directly by Malibu Barbie, the beach-bound doll that made its first debut in 1971,” she added. “The Malibu Barbie Cafe allows guests to experience the ultimate form of Barbie inspired dining. With nods to the nostalgia of Malibu Barbie throughout, every detail of the space and the menu will give guests a glimpse into what Barbie herself would dine on. Expect a beachy retro vibe throughout and a variety of dishes that are familiar, yet with updated and unexpected elements.”
The café, food-wise, is designed to be a fast-casual restaurant, “emphasizing all day brunch, family-friendly fare, delicious desserts, and a variety of drinks,” Freeland said. “Chef Becky’s style is fun loving and joyful, she was a perfect fit to bring this concept to life. She really wanted to embody that energy when creating the menu. It’s fresh, fun, and delicious. [There’s] something for everyone. Expect items like the Beach Burger, Pacific Paradise Rainbow Pancakes, The Golden Coast CALI-flower Bowl, and the West Coast Wave Salad to become instant fan favorites.” Sofa floats and ice cream sundaes are part of the menu too.
The café isn’t packed with any Barbie movie easter eggs, but it does add to the spirit of the season. Freeland expressed Mattel’s excitement about the movie and the café just being another way to celebrate this Barbie moment. She said the film is sure “to be a major cultural event of the summer and an opportunity to welcome fans new and old into Barbie’s world and present a fresh view on the brand as we chart a new path for the next decade. We are so pleased to have this story told by Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, especially at a time when Barbie has never been more relevant than she is today, connecting to society across all cultural touch points as the world has fun with Barbie fashion and lifestyle.”
The café will be open seven days a week through September 15. They expect to host over 8,000 guests a week.
The New York location is at 19 Fulton St., New York, NY 10038. Make a reservation or join the waitlist to go to it here.
The Chicago location is at 324 S. Racine St., Chicago, IL 60607. Make a reservation or join the waitlist to go to it here.
Senior News and Strategy Editor
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.