The owners of Electric Garden in West Loop debuted their “interactive beer garden” last year, with shipping containers surrounding the perimeter giving the space an industrial feel.
That feel has disappeared thanks to the arrival of the Malibu Barbie Cafe, a pop-up tribute to Mattel’s iconic doll. While there’s no ocean near the West Loop, designers have done their best to utilize the patio space, to make fans believe that “anything is possible.”
Yes, there’s a Barbie film, coming out in July, and the movie’s production designer told Architectural Digest that they used so much of Barbie’s trademark Rosco fluorescent pink color, that “the world ran out of paint.” Well, it seems the folks at Bucket Listers, the company behind this pop-up and the Golden Girls pop-up in Wicker Park, secured their own supply. There’s a human-sized Barbie doll box among the many Instagram-worthy set pieces littered throughout the space.
While Barbie debuted in 1959, the Malibu Barbie variant arrived 12 years later. The pop-up’s menu, created by Master Chef semi-finalist Becky Brown, reflects Southern California sensibilities with brunch served all day. Look for Rainbow Pancakes, a wedge salad, and a cauliflower bowl — there’s also a kids menu (imagine a pop-up about a beloved toy having that!). Former Chicagoan Derek Berry, the man behind the Saved by the Bell pop-up, is on board to ensure Mattel’s precious brand is treated with respect, which hopefully also means plenty of happy fans.
Walk through the space and check out a few food shots below.
Malibu Barbie Cafe at Electric Garden, 324 S. Racine Avenue, opening Wednesday, June 8 through mid-September, tickets through Bucket Listers.