Last night was the grand opening of a new novelty restaurant, The Sugar Factory on Ocean Drive in South Beach. As a local business owner who frequents these restaurants/bars for my popular cocktail tour, I was invited to attend the festivities. I attended with my lead tour guide James Cubby, who is also a writer for various tourist related magazines.
The Sugar Factory, as the name denotes, screams sugar and sweets. And they know how to pop! From the shiny colored pearl gumballs, to the bedazzled shelves and yellow rubber ducks, bright and eye-catching are understatements.
So on our way upstairs, we were greeted by a Willy Wonka-esque model garnished with a giant lollipop. And that is a Candy tree to the right of me, not to be mistaken for a Christmas tree. (note to self: I want this costume for Halloween!)
|Candy model with Christine Michaels|
But the main attraction tonight was reality celebrity, Kylie Jenner, daughter of Bruce-now-Caitlyn Jenner. Apparently the Kardashian/Jenner families are big supporters and fans of the chain. I watch very little television and I have never watched the Kardashian reality TV series but I catch updates on news and late night comedy shows given their pervasive stratospheric celebrity status.
|Kylie at the Sugar Factory in Chicago|
|Teenage fans armed and ready with cell phone cameras ready for Kylie's arrival|
After our red carpet pose, (click here for Grand Opening highlights) and mingling with other VIP guests, to relieve our hunger pangs, James and I escaped the paparazzi and swarm of teenagers (there to photograph the celebrity invitee, Kylie Jenner) to the restaurant. We entered from the hotel lobby. To the right was the main entrance of Sugar Factory.
|Bedazzled duck and yellow rubber ducks |
A photo of Khloe Kardashian hangs on back wall
Sugar Factory's Couture Pops have a reusable, plastic bedazzled stick and sucker-saving plastic top. At first I frowned then I turn to spot my bedazzled calculator even diamond covered measuring tape. I suppose I will need that couture lollipop stick after all! It's actually brilliant idea combining a simple candy to an adorned holder, like the waffle cone for the ice cream. But this is flashy, a true accessory.
Soon I learned why there are images of the Kardashian sisters throughout the candy store. They have endorsed and launched several Sugar Factory store openings.
|Kim Kardashian dressed in 1920's attired for Sugar Factory opening in Washington DCs Union Station|
|Katy Petty and Rihanna enjoy Couture Pops|
A tender 17 year old, and a natural beauty without makeup, Kylie looked like a mini Kim, the hair, makeup and the revealing dress. Kim wore a similar fitting décolleté suit on the Jimmy Kimmel show. I wish I could whisper to her to expand her wings and flex her creative muscles and develop her own style.
|Kylie clearly unsure about these sizzlers|
The dessert sampling was awkward all the way around. From her "I can't believe I'm doing this" pout expression while holding a sizzler, to her one arm constantly covering her right breast, you wondered if this was her first time wearing a revealing dress of if she feared a malfunction."Own it Kylie!"
|Between the sizzler and her dress, Kylie looked like she wanted to escape|
|Fans turn around and take selfies with Kylie seated behind them.|
James and I were more fascinated watching and photographing these teenagers scrambling and angling to get a photo of Kylie. Their smiles, giggles, expressions... I hope they would do the same for a smart, independently successful famous woman as well.
After our dinner, we tried to leave and were trapped. At every exit the security guard sent us to another exit only to have the next security guard tell us the same thing. Finally I insisted they pick a door to let us out. The doors opened and hundreds of faces with arms and cell phones extended clicking away. It was surreal. Instead of paper and pen extended for autographs it's all about the photo, and the possible selfie. The security guard cleared a path for us. My gosh. I actually thanked God that I was not famous. My freedom and privacy are golden.
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