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Hello Kitty Café Opens with Portola Coffees and an Explosion of Pink

Hello Kitty Café/Facebook photo

Hello Kitty Café/Facebook photo

In establishing a worth of more than $7 billion a year under the care of Japanese owner Sanrio over the past four decades, Hello Kitty has popped up on nearly every continent in nearly every way imaginable.

Of course there are clothing and accessories, but there are also multiple Hello Kitty television series, Hello Kitty theme parks, Hello Kitty dumpling bars, Hello Kitty wine, Hello Kitty guitars by Fender, Hello Kitty jet airliners, and, a personal favorite of this author, a Hello Kitty hospital maternity ward.

Not bad for an anthropomorphic cat originally known as “the white kitten with no name.”

Now, finally, the continental United States has a semi-permanent Hello Kitty café, which opened last Friday outside the Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine, Calif., to exceptionally long lines of Hello Kitty fanatics, according to local reports. In a repurposed shipping container, the café will be open at the outdoor shopping center through 2017.

While most Hello Kitty café-goers are likely to be drawn in by the dizzying display of pink, it seems there’s also some quality coffee to be had, too. The Sanrio group has sourced its roasted coffee offerings from SoCal’s own Portola Coffee Roasters (a.k.a. Portola Coffee Lab), a 2015 Roast magazine Roaster of the Year.

Here’s more from Sanrio on what may be paired with the Portola coffees:

The menu at the Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Container features freshly made pastries developed specifically for the cafe, including adorable apple pies, delicious sprinkle-covered cakes, chocolate opera cakes, mixed berry tarts, sugar cookies, streusel tarts and more, with Hello Kitty infused into each offering. These pastries are handmade daily and exclusive to this location, differing from the selection on the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck. On the beverage side, guests can choose from hand shaken, fruit infused iced teas, lemonades and specialty coffee drinks brewed using Portola Coffee Lab coffee. An expanded menu featuring additional Sanrio characters and specialty daily tea service will debut later this year.