The Barbie Cafe in Taipei, Taiwan is not the first Barbie-themed restaurant in the world but it is the first Barbie-themed restaurant in the world officially licensed by Mattel H.Q. In El Segundo, California. The obvious question is Why Taipei?. Themed restaurants are very popular in Asia in general and seem to be especially popular in countries like Japan, China, and Taiwan. In China, enforcement of intellectual properties and trademarks is ridiculously lax making it a poor environment in which to open a business that relies on its branding as a selling tool. In Japan, the market has matured (and might even be called glutted). While theme restaurants are popular in Taipei, there is still room for new players here. It also helps that one of the most popular restaurants in the city is the Sanrio-approved Hello Kitty Sweets, which has remained popular for some time. In demographic terms, they appeal to the same pie. And guess where the Barbie Cafe is located? Its less than a block from Hello Kitty Sweets, so Mattel is well aware of the demographics.
Last week being the week of Chinese New Year, my children were out of school and me, being a teacher, had no classes to teach. With all of us being on vacation at the same time, we were able to take the opportunity to do some things together like go to the Taipei Zoo, spend […]
One thing that I’ve discovered about Taiwan, especially outside of Taipei, is that people want you to know how they make things. Be it a food stall in a local night market, a piano factory in Taoyuan, or a bakery in the Sanxia district of New Taipei City (formerly Sanxia city).
The last time I went to the Hello Kitty Sweets restaurant in Taipei was a couple of years ago for a Valentines Day afternoon tea time with my wife and kids. The coffee and free wifi were good, the desserts were overpriced but okay, and the pink level was overwhelming. Since then a few friends […]
In the greater Taipei area, there are two kinds of night markets: those that have been “prettied up” for tourists (like HuaXi a.k.a. “Snake Alley”) and those that are more organic in nature and serve the community that surrounds them. Sanhe Night Market is one of the latter. It’s not wide streets with Net outlets […]
Yeah, you’re not supposed to feed them, but the shrimp there is so good that they continue to hang around on the off chance. Bubba Gump’s in Long Beach across from the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Behind a Chinese Dim Sum restaurant on Torrance Blvd. The food was great, BTW.