The television-viewing public is likely in for a bumpy ride over the coming months as simultaneous labor strikes bring Hollywood to a screeching halt for the first time in 63 years. As the picket lines grow and studios scramble, it seems an opportune time to settle in for a cozy rewatch of a favorite series from yesteryear — perhaps, say, Golden Girls, which ended its seven-season run on NBC in 1992.
Fortunately for fans of (mostly) grey-haired girl gang Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia, the trip down memory lane isn’t limited to two dimensions due to the efforts of Bucketlisters (also behind a timely Malibu Barbie pop-up in West Loop), which has transformed sister spots Cheesie’s Pub & Grub and Whiskey Business into an elaborate and fully licensed Golden Girls Kitchen pop-up at 1367 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park.
Chicagoans have streamed into the rendition of the Girls’ Miami ranch house since May, traversing its iconic kitchen, Blanche’s bedroom, and fictional bar the Rusty Anchor while dining on cheesecake, lasagna, and Cubano sandwiches. On weekends, a cast of Chicago drag performers including Chanel Mercedez Benz, Vanda La Rose, Essence, and Georgia St. Pierre don coiffed silver wigs and take the stage as the famous friends in a nod to the show’s significant LGBTQ fanbase.
Nearly four decades after it first hit screens, Golden Girls — a then-radical depiction of chosen family, candid sexuality, and frankly the mere existence of women over 50 on television — continues to comfort longtime fans and lure new adherents into the fold. Chicago’s tribute to the show will last through Thursday, August 10.
Explore the scene at Golden Girls Kitchen in the photographs below. Tickets are available via Bucketlisters.