Hello Kitty has steadily taken over the world — one marketing opportunity at a time — since she was first unleashed in Japan in 1974. Earlier this week, the Internet was set ablaze with news that a Hello Kitty-themed Chinese dim sum restaurant would soon open in Hong Kong.
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As you can see above, the too-on-the-nose named Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine will attract clients with dishes that display the animated feline with precision. And before you ask, yes, the proprietors of the restaurant do have permission from Sanrio — the company that owns the character — to use Hello Kitty.
The dim sum eatery is the latest addition to an exclusive list of IRL restaurants that have tried to capitalize on the fame of television shows and movies to draw a crowd.
The Krusty Krab
SpongeBob SquarePants's hometown of Bikini Bottom isn't real but its most famous eatery, The Krusty Krab, most certainly is. In 2014, a company called Salta Burgers opened a restaurant fashioned after the cartoon in the city of — wait for it — Ramallah, West Bank.
Side note: Fusion actually paid a visit to the real life Krusty Krab last year.
For Ramallah resident Nejmah Awad, 23, the burger joint is a source of local pride.
“I was just scrolling through Facebook this morning and I see all these people from the United States — they are not Arabic, they are not Palestinian, and they are all envying Palestine because we have [Krusty Krab] now, ” he told us last year.
Kwik-E-Mart food truck
via Anna Webber/Getty Images
Every year, thousands of #brands invade Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest conference in hopes of making a lasting impression with the influencers attending the tech/film/music festival. And by "influencers," we mean freeloading hipsters and Silicon Valley types. One of the standouts from 2015 was the Kwik-E-Mart food truck, which gave away free Squishees for anyone willing to wait in line for hours on end. The food truck was there to celebrate the 25 year anniversary of the fictional convenience store's first appearance on The Simpsons.
The Log Lady Cafe
If you find yourself in Copenhagen, Denmark, and are a diehard fan of David Lynch's cult TV show Twin Peaks (there's no such thing as a casual Twin Peaks fan), you should stop by The Log Lady Cafe, a shop/tattoo parlor named after one of the most bizarre and fascinating characters in the show, The Log Lady. And yes, they do serve cherry pie, which we hear gives the Lamplighter Inn a run for its money.
The Wes Anderson-designed Cafe
A photo posted by @valexina on May 10, 2015 at 10:27am PDT
Okay, this is not about a fictional character, but it comes from a director who creates fantasy worlds. OF COURSE Wes Anderson designed a cafe that's so cute and adorable and full of pastel shades that it makes you want to puke rainbows in slow motion as The Kinks or the Rolling Stones play in the background. Bar Luce, found in Milan's Fondazione Prada, is comprised of the stuff that twee dreams are made of, including a retro-looking The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou pinball machine.
Fidel Martinez is an editor at Fusion.net. He's also a Texas native and a lifelong El Tri fan.