Malibu Barbie pop-up comes to The West Loop

Ryan Gosling, Margo Robbie

The excitement keeps building as the Greta Gerwig film, Barbie starring Margo Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken in the lead roles gets closer to the July 21 release date.

What does that mean to those of us in Chicago who can only dream about Malibu Barbie?

The West Loop’s first interactive, dog-friendly beer garden, Electric Garden, along with Bucket Listers, promises to transport their guests to 1970s Malibu California “with a sea of poptimistic Barbie colors” including Barbie’s signature color pink, (technically Rosco’s fluorescent fuchsia), “laid-back beachy motifs, and lots of retro glam.”

From June 7th to September 15th, 2023, Electric Garden has transformed into the Malibu Barbie Cafe. Throughout this period, guests will be immersed in the nostalgic world of old-school Barbie, where every aspect, from the enchanting decor to the delectable menu, will reflect the essence of this iconic era. 

They even promise to be bathed in Barbie’s classic pink, and more pink. Somewhat of a miracle in itself when a recent worldwide shortage of pink paint was attributed to the making of the film Barbie.

Sarah Greenwood the movie’s production designer revealed to Architectural Digest that the extensive use of Barbie’s trademark Rosco fluorescent pink color had caused a shortage of the paint worldwide. “The world,” she laughed, “ran out of pink.”

According to Lauren Proud, Rosco’s vice president of marketing and digital experience, the depletion of the company’s paint supply was not solely attributed to the demands of the film. Global supply chain challenges were also significantly impacting the company’s inventory, as mentioned in an interview with CNN, “The sets were being developed during a time when we were still experiencing the global supply chain issues, and the paint supply was hit particularly hard,” she said. “We delivered everything we could, they got it all.”

The ever resourceful team at Bucket Listers, managed to secure their own abundant supply. 

Among the many visually captivating set pieces scattered throughout the space, visitors can find a life-sized Barbie doll box, perfect for Instagram-worthy moments. In addition to several photo opportunities, guests can fully immerse themselves into Barbie culture by listening to iconic pop music and roller skating just like Barbie for just $1 to skate!

All proceeds from the roller skating will be donated to Girls Inc. Chicago, an organization that delivers life-changing programs and experiences that inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold enough to overcome challenges. The donations help ensure that girls in Chicago have opportunities and experiences to thrive in school and in life.

Malibu Barbie Cafe’s menu is created by Becky Brown, who is a highly versatile culinary professional, excelling as an Executive Chef, restaurateur, and culinary consultant. Her culinary journey gained national recognition when she became a finalist on FOX’s Masterchef in 2012.

Brown Focused on “California cuisine” and “brunch culture,” the menu features dishes such as Pacific Paradise Pancakes, West Coast Wedge Salad, and a California Dreamin’ Club Sandwich.

Here’s the full menu:

Former Chicagoan Derek Berry, former stage manager of the Concord Music Hall and the man behind the Saved by the Bell pop-up, is on board, ensuring a memorable experience that will leave plenty of delighted Barbie fans.

Malibu Barbie Cafe is at Electric Garden, 324 S. Racine Avenue. Tickets are available exclusively through Bucket Listers

The Barbie movie hype continues to build with each new plot detail that’s revealed.

What is the story about? Barbie and Ken are having the time of their lives in the colorful and seemingly perfect world of Barbie Land. However, when they get a chance to go to the real world, they soon discover the joys and perils of living among humans.

Warner Bros describes the film succinctly, “To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken.”

If you are as caught up in this Barbie film as we are, here are the teasers to hold you over until July 21:

Barbie was written and directed by Oscar-nominated Greta Gerwig, starring Oscar-nominees Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, alongside America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Michael Cera, Ariana Greenblatt, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell. The film also stars Ana Cruz Kayne, Emma Mackey, Hari Nef, Alexandra Shipp, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa, Scott Evans, Jamie Demetriou, Connor Swindells, Sharon Rooney, Nicola Coughlan, Ritu Arya, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Dua Lipa and Oscar-winner Helen Mirren.

The screenplay by Gerwig & Oscar nominee Noah Baumbach, is based on Barbie by Mattel. The film’s producers are Oscar nominee David Heyman, Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley and Robbie Brenner, with Michael Sharp, Josey McNamara, Ynon Kreiz, Courtenay Valenti, Toby Emmerich and Cate Adams serving as executive producers.

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