Cute Cocktails, Tiny Tea Sandwiches, More: Inside Hello Kitty's First Grand Café in the U.S.

It officially opens in Irvine this Friday.

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Photos: Courtesy of Jakob Layman/Sanrio

Everything that Sanrio creates is clearly not too cute to eat or wear, and it's definitely true for the latest treat for superfans of all things kawaii. This Friday, the Japanese empire of cuteness is set to debut its first permanent Hello Kitty Grand Café in America at the Irvine Spectrum Center. (Start planning that OC road trip now.)

Located at the Giant Wheel between the Nordstrom and H&M lots, the charming diner (which originally began as a pop-up) will offer a full menu of adorable bites, sweets, and drinks — yup, including alcoholic sips — inspired the adorable London-bred girl. (She's not actually a cat, remember?)

A grab-and-go counter will be stocked with freshly baked cookies, donuts, cakes, and seasonal treats, while hot and iced coffee, tea, and other drinks will be served. There'll also be made-to-order mini donuts in flavors like cinnamon sugar, matcha, and cookies 'n' cream ($6 per cup); and four-piece mini cake sets ($15) featuring the Sanrio characters of your choice.

The space will also house the reservation-only Bow Room, where devoted Hello Kitty foodies can enjoy afternoon tea service ($55 per person) during the day. Expect finger foods like seasonal fruit; cucumber, egg salad, smoked salmon, and caprese tea sandwiches; and tasty pastries like buttermilk scones, mini cupcakes, raspberry macarons, and double chocolate cakes. As far as beverages, guests can pick from classic black, green, and oolong teas alongside a special birthday tea blend. (It's worth noting that afternoon tea reservations are available in two-hour time frames for groups of even numbers only; see more details at the cafe's Yelp Reservations page here.)

By night, the café will transform into cocktail lounge starting at 5pm, when Sanrio superfans over the age of 21 can order up a Dear Daniel (a mezcal- and fruit-powered cocktail topped with coconut whip; $16), a Matcha Matcha (Japanese whiskey with yogurt, matcha, and yuzu; $15), You Had Me at Hello (cachaça and aperol mixed with lemon, sherry, and pineapple; $21), or the 1974 (the drinker's choice between an Old Fashioned or classic Negroni, finished with a signature Hello Kitty ice cube; $14).

The drink menu doesn't end there: There's also a curated wine list ($10 to $63 per glass or bottle) featuring sparkling wine, champagne, pinot grigio and noir, rosé, and sauvignon blanc alongside Hello Kitty's own sparkling rosé, prosecco, pinot grigio, and Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut ($38 to $87 per bottle). Who knew she was such a wino?

As far as the interiors the luxurious space will be decked out in bright white marble and sleek rose gold accents, as well as one-of-a-kind art and decor created in Hello Kitty's image. The café will also offer plenty of merch to commemorate your visit, including exclusives like rose gold sequin bow headbands ($30) and mugs with gold bow handles ($25).

While it's Hello Kitty's first permanent restaurant in the U.S., it's not the first time she and her cartoon companions have landed Stateside in the form of coffee and cookies. Hawaii scored a Sanrio Café (which is now shuttered) and a mini version of her eatery popped up at Irvine Spectrum in the form of a origami-like shipping container, while her traveling food truck has been making stops across California over the last few years.

If you're now hyperventilating at the thought of all of this cuteness overload (we'll give you a sec to get ahold of yourself), you can scroll through the gallery above to see more inside the eatery and reserve your seat for tea or cocktails in the Bow Room online here or call (949) 329-8629.

Hello Kitty Grand Café is open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday from 11am to 10:30pm, Saturday from 10am to 10:30pm, and Sunday from 10am to 9pm; afternoon tea service at the Bow Room is Wednesday through Friday from 11am to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Cocktails are served Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 5 to 9pm and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11pm. (949) 329-8629.

Hello Kitty Grand Café at Irvine Spectrum
670 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, CA 92618

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