The organizers of the Malibu Barbie pop-up in West Loop have conveniently announced they’ve extended their run through October 15 giving anxious fans an opportunity to book a reservation as the Barbie movie is set to debut on Friday, July 21.
The era of pop culture pop-ups was kicked off in February 2016 when a Saved by the Bell pop-up debuted in Wicker Park. Organizers back then underestimated the popularity of their operation and were forced to extend the Chicago run before announcing a move to LA. The business of licensed pop-culture pop-ups was new eight years ago. This time around with Barbie, fueled by the release of the Greta Gerwig film, the extension seemed inevitable, especially as organizers say the buzz and media coverage surrounding Barbie has surpassed past efforts.
Former Chicago resident Derek Berry, a partner at West Town’s Beauty Bar, put together the Saved by the Bell and Barbie pop-ups. They’ve taken over Electric Garden, 324 S. Racine Avenue, a West Loop bar with an outdoor space bordered by a perimeter of shipping containers. Malibu Barbie is a feast of pink and Instagram bait, tapping into the history of the Mattel dolls. Cocktails for adults and kid’s menu for the little ones. There don’t accept walk-ins — it’s reservation only.
Berry and Bucket Listers are also working with Electric Garden’s owners on another pop-up. In Wicker Park, a tribute to the Golden Girls that’s about to end its run at Whiskey Business and Cheesie’s Grub and Pub.
As Hollywood’s writers and actors continue their strikes simultaneously, the Barbie pop-up’s timing coincides with one of the film industry’s most unique premiere weekends in history with the debuts of Barbie and Oppenheimer. Bucket Listers has made no mention of a future Oppenheimer pop-up.