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One of my all-time favorite TV shows is The Golden Girls. No matter how many times I have watched an episode, I’m always ready to join Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia on their adventures at 6151 Richmond Street in Miami. When The Golden Girls Kitchen announced that it was coming to Chicago, I knew I had to go to visit.
The pop-up debuted on May 9th in Wicker Park. It assumed the space formerly occupied by Cheesie’s Pub & Grub and Whiskey Business. The wall between the two places was taken down and familiar scenes like the kitchen, Blanche’s bedroom, the living room, the lanai, and The Rusty Anchor have been recreated here.
Tickets are sold for 90-minute seatings. You are free to walk around the various setups and take selfies in these recreations of The Golden Girls‘ home and favorite watering hole. Tickets cost $50 and include your choice of entree and cheesecake. Reservations can be made here.
The experience is top notch, but don’t come here for the food.
After you enter, the kitchen is to the right. It has the feel of The Golden Girls kitchen (though it’s not an exact reproduction).
The Rusty Anchor is across from the kitchen. There is a spacious bar and clips from the show playing on several TVs. A second bar is located on the other side of the restaurant.
As you walk into the other side, you’ll fin Blanche’s bedroom (complete with the signature palm leaf wallpaper and bedspread).
Past Blanche’s bedroom (and the second nondescript bar), there is a stairwell leading to the living room and lanai. Once upstairs, you’ll find yourself in a space that reminds you of the living room on the show. It’s designed to be similar, but this room felt like a miss.
Outside there are more tables in the area known as the lanai. You can also play cornhole and giant Jenga out here.
There are plenty of places for selfies throughout.
We went back downstairs and our apps had arrived. We ordered the Cheese Balls and Garlic Bread. The Cheese Balls are actually arancini and were the highlight of the meal.
The garlic bread was not very good. A little soggy and too much grated cheese.
We all selected Sophia’s Lasagna Al Forno when I booked. Sophia would be rolling in her grave if she knew her name was attached to this dish. It did make me think of her quote from the episode where she is in a pizza commercial: “Mmm that’s a mighty… That’s a mighty lousy pizza!” The same could be said of the lasagna. It tasted like it was reheated from the freezer and could even have been Stouffer’s.
The cheesecake was equally bad. We each had a bite and were done.
There is a full cocktail menu, wine, and beer. We tried several and all were fine.
There is a gift shop in the back corner selling t-shirts, games, and other merchandise. Since this is sponsored by Hulu, Disney, and The Hallmark Channel, everything is officially licensed. We got t-shirts. Some of the other items I have seen in Target.
Anthony’s Take: I am a huge fan and loved the decor in the Golden Girls Kitchen. If you are a fan of the show, this pop-up dining experience is a must. It’s a fun experience and you do feel like you’re in the show. Just keep expectations in line for the food as it’s pretty bad. But, you’re coming to pay homage to the girls and can always pick up a cheesecake elsewhere to take home.
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