Last week’s announcement that a Barbie restaurant pop-up would soon arrive in Chicago was a warning shot. The floodgates, kept closed during much of the pandemic, may be reopening, and the latest pop-culture property to be mined for a restaurant theme is a beloved and highly requested one. In May, Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia will bring their legendary friendships to Chicago as part of a Golden Girls pop-up.
The Golden Girls Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant with a bar, is from the same organizers as the Malibu Barbie pop-up. Tickets are already available via the Bucket Listers website and they’ve revealed the venue: Wicker Park’s Whisky Business, the bar attached to grilled cheese haven Cheesie’s Pub & Grub. The pop-up will go from May through early August.
Bucket Listers already brought the pop-up to Beverly Hills, California, and New York. Miami and San Francisco are on their way later this year. Former Chicago resident Derek Berry is also behind this one, having gained the trust of NBC executives in showing reverence for how he treated 2016’s Saved by the Bell pop-up. The Golden Girls ran from 1985 to 1992 on NBC. Beyond a superstar cast of Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty, the sitcom endures thanks to Andrew Gold’s Thank You For Being a Friend which was rerecorded by Cynthia Fee for the show’s theme song.
A news release details how the pop-up will translate some of the most memorable moments from the ‘80s TV show. Visitors will find social media gold with photo opportunities to sit at the kitchen table or sunbathe with Lanai.
More about the main menu in a moment. It’s important to note there are plenty of desserts, like Blanche’s Georgia Style Cookie. But more exciting is a variety of cheesecake, an item that repeatedly found its way on the show, a fixture that allowed the women to share their feelings.
The show, which features the lives of four senior citizens, also resonated in LGTBQ communities. That’s even more reason the pop-up will serve weekend drag brunch with local queens.
Last week, Berry told Eater was excited to work more in Chicago. He and his family had moved to LA. Specifically, he had been talking with Chris Johnston, the owner of Whisky Business and Cheesie’s. Johnston and his partners just opened a bar, Lost Reef in Lakeview, with lavish cocktails, and they’re itching to try different things. There might be more collaborations in the future.
The Golden Girls Kitchen, from Wednesday, May 10 to Sunday, August 6 at Whisky Business. 1367 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Tickets are available via Bucket Listers.