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The Golden Girls Kitchen In Los Angeles Brings The Famed Show’s Miami Home To Life For Diners

The best TV shows make us feel part of the cast, whether we are family, coworkers, neighbors, whatever. We visit them week after week and feel like we know them.

After all, during the seven seasons we watched The Golden Girls, or more recently streamed all 180 episodes, the GG Miami house made us feel comfortable, welcome, warm and safe. Who, watching the show, didn’t think about being invited in for late night cheesecake?

Bucket Listers, a company built on creating memorable experiences in different communities, understands that most, if not all, of the millions, who have watched The Golden Girls dreamed of what it would be like to hang out in the Miami kitchen with Rose Nylund (Betty White), Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur), Blanche Deveraux (Rue McClanahan) and Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty).

That is the premise behind the Golden Girls Kitchen, a popup restaurant currently packing in all fans of ages in Beverly Hills, California. Featuring a variety of cheesecakes, lasagna, a Cuban sandwich and more Golden Girls-themed food and drinks, the restaurant recreates important GG locations, such as the kitchen and Blanche’s bedroom.

I spoke with Derek Berry, VP of Experiences at Bucket Listers, about the inspired idea, why the show still lends itself to this thirty years later and more.

Steve Baltin: The Golden Girls went off the air 30 years ago. So what made this the right time to do this popup?

Derek Berry: I’d actually been discussing the concept with the IP holder for a couple years, and then COVID tabled the conversation. Coincidentally a few weeks before the passing of Betty White we had just started to chat again. After Betty’s passing, this felt like a great tribute to her and the show.

Baltin: Why do you think there remains so much interest in the show that you can do this 30 years later?

Berry: I think the show is not only timelessly funny, but also tackles so many issues that were ahead of its time and remain relevant currently. Nostalgia seems bigger than ever right now, and I think people just want to remember an easier time in their life.

Baltin: What do you look for in the shows or events you do popups with?

Berry: Overall, I’ve always said that if a show can be quoted continuously over time, or if you can say a line and someone will go, “Oh that’s from so and so,” it might work as a popup. People come to these events to be transported somewhere else. That said, I tend to look for recurring spots in the show or movie that people would want to be in. Last, I try to figure out what are the F&B (food and beverage) elements and how are they brought to life.

Baltin: Part of what made this so fun was how inviting and comfortable the space was. How did you create that vibe?

Berry: We really tried to go back and look at the colors, the pantones, the overall feel of the show and morph it all into one in this space. The space really lent itself to where we saw it going, so it was all about just making sure every inch or turn was covered.

Baltin: The crowd the night we went was very diverse across ages and for all people. Why do you feel like this is so appealing to everyone?

Berry: We are seeing every walk of life in GGK, and it’s truly amazing. The space is meant to just let loose, have fun, and go back in time for 90 minutes. And I think everyone loves to have fun so as long as they are ready to let loose, it surely appeals to everyone!

Baltin: How did you select the menu?

Berry: We tried to pull in the must-have moments from the show and do them really well. Then the other portion was inspired by the show itself. So, listening to what they said, referencing how certain St. Olaf desserts tasted or smelled like and working to bring them to life. Many of these items are the first time they’ve seen the light of day so we wanted them to really land for fans.

Baltin: Will this go to other places?

Berry: We are set to continue LA until the end of the year, and open NYC before the year ends. Miami and Chicago are on the radar for 2023.

Baltin: What other shows lend themselves well to this type of popup location?

Berry: My main would be to do a fully functioning version on Monk’s from Seinfeld.

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