Sanrio characters and the smell of baked goods fill the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe, a new feature at the Irvine Spectrum Center. This bright cafe has an open and inviting layout with pink accents throughout.
As guests step foot across the gold-printed “Hello Kitty Cafe” script on the white marble tile, they enter the world of Sanrio. From the walls to the cookies, Hello Kitty’s iconic image is found throughout the cafe.
Guests can order different flavored treats that include hot mini doughnuts, mini cakes, pies, cookies and macarons that all maintain the classic Hello Kitty theme. In addition, the cafe offers drinks ranging from blended espresso to strawberry mint lemonade.
First-time customers of the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe, Alex Paredes and Bertha Rendon, ordered matcha-flavored doughnuts to share with each other. They said the treats were soft and tasty.
Paredes said she has previously ordered from the Hello Kitty Cafe pop-up truck, an old edition at the Irvine Spectrum Center, but that the pop-up truck did not offer as many treats as the Grand Cafe. The Grand Cafe also offers indoor seating, creating an inviting experience for guests.
“I like (the cafe) because they have merchandise and the food looks really good and they had a pretty good variety of treats and sweets,” Rendon said.
Along with the baked goods and housemade drinks, guests can buy a variety of Hello Kitty themed items at the Grand Cafe. Some of those items include shirts, mugs, lunchboxes, keychains and even a plush Hello Kitty doll.
The cafe doesn’t stop there and features more than just decorative Hello Kitty treats and items. A glass viewing station, which has a neon-lit “Hot Donuts” sign above it, is available for guests to see the doughnut making process.
“We have been open for about two months. Before we had the little pop-up truck, and basically we just sell stuff that is centered around Hello Kitty. We have the Bow Room in the back, which is for tea time in the mornings and afterwards it’s a bar at night,” said Emma McMillen, a Hello Kitty Grand Cafe worker.
Although the Bow Room is only open for select hours, the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe truly offers something for everyone, especially those who love sweets and all things Sanrio.
Ched Sermenta and Marvin Morales, first-time customers, drove two hours to the Irvine location just to visit the cafe. Sermenta is a Hello Kitty fan, and although she has only been in the United States for one day, this cafe was first on her list of places to visit.
“My childhood was full of Hello Kitty since my mom was working in Japan. It’s a Hello Kitty world. It started there, so my whole room was full of Hello Kitty,” Sermenta said.
The cafe is always full of guests lining up to get their hands on Hello Kitty treats and to simply experience the Sanrio magic. This Irvine location is the first and only Hello Kitty Grand Cafe, making it a very special and popular place to visit.