Ladies, grab your pink luggage and a well-groomed manfriend, we’re heading to Taiwan. We need to go visit the first-ever Barbie Cafe. Don’t worry about bringing your daughter though, or that prized collector’s edition Barbie that you really want to get cleaned up. This is not the American Girl Doll brunch. Taiwan’s tribute to everyone’s favorite buxom blonde is really made for adult women who still love their childhood best friend, Barbie.
The cafe looks beautiful, if we’re to judge from the Facebook page. They have tutu-inspired chairs and gold lame couches. There are stylish drawings of designer Barbies hanging all over the walls. But it also looks very adult. For all of it’s magenta decor, it still doesn’t feel like a Claire’s boutique exploded pink glitter and feathers. This is not a place designed to appeal to young kids.
The food also doesn’t seem to be geared towards your daughter, who just wants to sit on a tutu chair. While they do have a menu item that looks like a jewelry box, the food is definitely elevated beyond children’s fair. They serve American, French, and Italian cuisine with seafood and sandwiches.
It looks like Barbie is trying to follow the Disney path and capitalize on grown adults who still feel a nostalgic love for their childhood toys. I can imagine little Barbie Cafes opening up here in the states. They would target the type of woman who considers a Disney Couture wedding gown when she’s ready to walk down the aisle. By the way, I say that with no snark. Some of those dresses are super pretty and I would definitely eat at this cafe.
There’s something special about Barbie, no matter how much criticism was thrown her way over her unrealistic body proportions, that I’ll always enjoy. I think, more than anything, that Barbie was the friend we all wanted to have as young girls. She had an awesome wardrobe. She had a boyfriend. She had a million different activities and we could make her do whatever we wanted.
I still love Barbies. I still play them regularly with my daughter. But I feel like the Barbie Cafe might just be a place for us big girls to get together and reminisce. It’s not about Barbie as a catalyst for imaginative play, which is the way that kids see her. It’s about remembering Barbie and what she meant for us. That’s an adult past-time.
So who wants to fly to Taiwan with the staff of Mommyish?