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A section of an outdoor patio decorated with Barbie displays.
The Malibu Barbie Cafe is open in Chicago.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

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A Barbie Pop-Up Arrives in Chicago, Proving Dreams Can Come True

There’s no pink paint shortage in the West Loop

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.

A pink door in a stone building with a Barbie logo.
A very tall sign and fence are painted bright pink with a white “B” logo stenciled on the fence.
A pink indoor retail space with Barbie merchandise.
A corner of a room painted pink with a large sign that reads “Make Waves, Malibu Barbie.”
A large pink surfboard with a Barbie logo hangs above two shelves of glassware.
A long wooden bar decorated with pink surfboards.
An indoor display designed to resemble a Barbie box with accessories.
An indoor photo booth with an orange surfboard and large blue wave.

A section of an outdoor patio decorated with Barbie displays.
An outdoor patio with two Barbie displays, one for a beach party and the other for roller skating.
A large outdoor patio decorated with Barbie displays.
A paved outdoor patio space decorated with murals and a large pink Barbie logo.
A bright pink porch swing with a Barbie logo sits on a large paved patio.
A large outdoor patio decorated with pink Barbie art and logos.
A large outdoor patio with Barbie decor.
A large outdoor patio with green astroturf and lots of pink Barbie decor.

A round white plate with a small confetti pancake.
Pacific Paradise Rainbow Pancakes
A round blue bowl holds a wedge salad.
West Coast Wedge Salad
A bowl of pink dip with vegetables beside a plate of pita triangles.
Good Vibes Beets Hummus
A chia pudding parfait in a small jar on a pink background.
Today is the Day Parfait
A round white plate with a cheeseburger, pickle spear, and metal cup of fries.
Beach Burger
A bowl of roasted cauliflower and vegetables.
Golden Coat Cali-Flower Bowl
A round white plate with a grilled cheese sandwich and metal cup of fries.
Live Your Dream Grilled Cheese
Three colorful cocktails on a pink background.
Margaritas, mojitos, and more are on the drink menu,.

Electric Garden

324 South Racine Avenue, , IL 60607 (312) 374-1045 Visit Website
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