Waitresses wave in front of a Barbie poster during the opening ceremony of the Barbie-themed restaurant in Taipei.

Waitresses wave in front of a Barbie poster during the opening ceremony of the Barbie-themed restaurant in Taipei.

With hot pink sofas, high heels-shaped tables and chairs decorated with tutus, the first Barbie-themed restaurant opened in Taiwan on Wednesday catering to fans of the iconic doll.

US toymaker Mattel has licensed Taiwan's restaurant group Sinlaku to operate the Barbie Cafe and hopes that the new establishment in a bustling shopping district in the capital Taipei will help promote Barbie as a fashion brand.

"We picked Taiwan because theme restaurants are very popular and successful here. We are very confident that the Barbie Cafe can promote our brand image," said Iggy Yip, a senior manager in Mattel's consumer products division in Greater China.

A waitress poses with a menu during the media preview of the Barbie-themed cafe in Taipei. Click for more photos

Barbie opens her own cafe in Taipei

A waitress poses with a menu during the media preview of the Barbie-themed cafe in Taipei. Photo: Reuters

  • A waitress poses with a menu during the media preview of the Barbie-themed cafe in Taipei.
  • Waitresses wave in front of a Barbie poster during the opening ceremony of the Barbie-themed restaurant in Taipei. US toymaker Mattel is hopeful that the restaurant will also attract Barbie fans from China, Hong Kong and Japan, which are among the biggest sources of tourists to Taiwan.
  • A waitresses and a waiter walk through the restaurant during the opening ceremony of the first Barbie-themed restaurant in Taipei.  With hot pink sofas, high heel-shaped tables and chairs decorated with tutus, the restaurant caters to fans of the iconic doll.
  • Employees serve customers during the media preview of the Barbie-themed cafe in Taipei.
  • Girls look at Barbie dolls on display during the media preview of the Barbie-themed cafe in Taipei.
  • A man decorates a Barbie doll cake during a media preview of the Barbie Cafe in Taipei.
  • A Barbie fan takes pictures of the cakes during the opening ceremony of a Barbie-themed restaurant in Taipei.
  • A staff member walks through the restaurant during the opening ceremony of the Barbie-themed restaurant in Taipei. US toymaker Mattel has licensed Taiwan's restaurant group Sinlaku to operate the Barbie Cafe and hopes that the new establishment in a bustling shopping district in the capital Taipei will help promote Barbie as a fashion brand.
  • A waitress poses as she displays a cup of macaroons during the opening ceremony of the Barbie-themed restaurant in Taipei. Taiwan has a long history with Barbie as it used to be a manufacturing centre for the dolls until Mattel relocated its production lines to China and elsewhere to lower costs in the late 1980s.
  • Waitresses stand in their uniforms during the opening ceremony of the Barbie-themed restaurant in Taipei.
  • Customers eat dessert during the media preview of the Barbie-themed cafe in Taipei. The 660-square-metre Barbie Cafe, fashioned with Mattel's barbie doll-themed decor and food dishes, is in Taipei's Zhongxiao Dunhua shopping belt.
  • Barbie-themed pink chairs at the media preview of the Barbie-themed cafe in Taipei.

Besides dolls, Mattel retails garments, accessories and furniture in Taiwan and some select products will be available in the cafe, she said.

Yip is hopeful that the restaurant will also attract Barbie fans from China, Hong Kong and Japan, which are among the biggest sources of tourists to Taiwan.

Jessica Ho, an office worker in Taipei who has a five-year-old daughter, gave her thumbs-up to the Barbie Cafe.

"My child and I both love Barbie and this lovely and cute place is like a dream come true for us. I will take her here to celebrate her next birthday," she said.

Taiwan has a long history with Barbie as it used to be a manufacturing centre for the dolls until Mattel relocated its production lines to China and elsewhere to lower costs in the late 1980s.

Mattel had launched a Barbie concept store in China in 2009, as it celebrated the doll's 50th birthday, but it was closed down after two years amid reports the outlet failed to get off the ground.

AFP