Hello, Hello Kitty Cafe—Irvine Spectrum Is About to Get a Lot Cuter

Stepping beyond the truck, Sanrio chose O.C. for the actually-not-a-kitty character’s first pop-up cafe

Since a Los Angeles fan convention just over a year ago, a pretty pink food truck has traveled the American west in the name of Hello Kitty. When the actually-not-a-cat Sanrio character started seeking a real restaurant home, though, its natural affinity for Orange County could not be denied: The very first Hello Kitty Cafe pop-up will open at Irvine Spectrum later this month.

A shipping container installed in the Spectrum’s Giant Wheel Court is being tricked out with what will undoubtedly be critical-mass levels of kawaii for the purpose. An expanded selection of sweet treats is planned, along with daily tea service and coffee drinks prepared with O.C.’s own Portola Coffee. Other Sanrio characters besides Hello Kitty will be represented, too—I’m hoping for lovable, tragic Gudetama.

The pop-up’s scheduled to be open into 2016, and then later in the year look for a permanent Hello Kitty Cafe at an as-yet undisclosed Southern California location. Seems to me that if all goes well at the Spectrum pop-up—which is, in understatement, a very good bet—Hello Kitty just might find permanent digs there.

And the pop-up’s opening date? Sanrio says only “late November,” but I can’t shake the idea that a Black Friday debut would make a perfect, pink storm of a start. For updates, follow Hello Kitty Cafe’s Instagram account here.

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