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Americans may no longer be able to jetset like a Sanrio superstar, but at least they can dine like one. At precisely 11am today, the Hello Kitty Café makes its stateside debut at the Irvine Spectrum's Big Wheel Court — and from what we experienced at yesterday's preview, it's just as super-cute as you'd expect. (While Hawaii has the U.S.'s only Sanrio Café, this is the first time Hello Kitty's own eatery has landed on our soil.)
Housed in an origami-like shipping container, the charming bistro unfolds to reveal a patio, where sweet-toothed Sanrio fans can enjoy a strawberry mint lemonade with the world's tiniest apple pie (topped with Kitty White's adorable little face, of course.) Java junkies can order up a Portola Coffee latte with the London-bred non-cat's likeness sprinkled on top and munch on an array of colorful confections, like a vanilla bean birthday cake or a strawberry streusel pastry puff.
Above, see more inside America's first-ever brick-and-mortar Hello Kitty Café, which will hold court at the OC shopping center for an entire year. (Don't forget that its food truck will be parked in Glendale tomorrow!)
The pretty pink eatery is hosting a slew of grand opening festivities all weekend; be one of the first 100 diners today through Sunday to enjoy a free gift with your purchase.
The Hello Kitty Cafe is open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday from 11am to 10pm, Saturday from 10am to 10pm, and Sunday from 10am to 9pm.
Update 7/15, 1pm: This story has been revised with clarification on Hawaii's Sanrio Cafe, which isn't strictly Hello Kitty-themed and features all of the Japanese brand's characters.