If there’s maybe one thing that ARMY loves more than BTS, it’s BT21. The characters, designed by BTS themselves, have their own cinematic universe at this point in collaboration with Line Friends! ARTBOX, a UK company specializing in Japanese and Korean character goods, homeware, and stationery, has introduced LINE FRIENDS & BT21 Tasty Universe to their cafe and store in Brighton. As many writers and readers here at The Honey POP are ARMY, we had to check it out! Here’s our review of the ARTBOX BT21 Cafe.
How Does It Work?
The store is two stories; downstairs is the shop and takeaway counter, upstairs is the sit-down cafe. At the moment, table booking for the cafe is advised. But don’t worry, their COVID protocols are honestly brilliant! The current system is that each booking lasts an hour, then there are 20 minutes for a deep clean, then the next group of bookings begins (i.e., the cafe is full 11 am-12 pm, then empty 12-12:20 pm and so on). To book a slot, there’s a £5 deposit per person, but it’s refunded against your meal. In advance, we thought maybe that the hour would feel rushed and the staff, fairly enough, would be eager to get us out of there, but that wasn’t the case at all.
In the shop and the cafe, all of the staff seemed to understand that visiting the cafe might be a pretty big deal for ARMY. They were so kind and considerate and offered to take Polaroids and group pictures for people.
The accessibility of the store isn’t ideal. There’s no lift in the building (it’s pretty small), and the cafe is upstairs, so they ask that you request accessibility on booking, and a table will be arranged on the ground floor for you.
The shop downstairs is pretty small too, but they’ve managed to fit a surprising amount of stock into such a small space. The cheapest BT21 items were £2.50 – the mini memo pads. They also have exclusive ARTBOX Cafe BT21 tote bags, enamel pins, and more. In the cafe, you get a free character coaster with every drink you order (we got Koya and RJ!), and the takeaway cups and ice cream bowls also have Line Friends or BT21 characters on them.
If we’re honest, we weren’t too concerned about the food quality before we went – we were going for the environment! But the food being as good as it is is such a bonus. We tried Cooky Workout Hot Dog, BT21 Universtar Toastie (cheese and veggie ham), and Shooky Choccy Waffles, all of which were delicious, especially the waffles, which come with a miniature milk bottle filled with white chocolate sauce.
The menu is entirely meat-free, and the vast majority is available to be made vegan (even the milkshakes!) and gluten-free. The cafe meals range from £7.00 to £12.00, and drinks range from £2.50 to £5.00. The take-out ice cream starts at £2.80.
The entire building is decorated so cutely, and the energy definitely matched. The cafe was filled with ARMY, who had such a lovely time, and the experience felt very communal. They also play BTS throughout the store, including some rarer tracks and remixes, so it was a lot of fun to share that happiness with ARMY!
When Does The BT21 Theme End?
Want to visit the cafe? Great news – due to the previous lockdowns, the LINE FRIENDS & BT21 Tasty Universe theme has been extended until Autumn 2021. At the moment, the staff doesn’t have an exact date, but it’ll be there all summer long, so get down there and enjoy the sunshine!
The ARTBOX Cafe is located at 5-6 East Street, Brighton, BN1 1HP. Their booking system and online store can be found here.
Have you been to the cafe? What did you think of our ARTBOX BT21 cafe review? Who should ARTBOX collaborate with next? Let us know over on Twitter @TheHoneyPOP!
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Featured Image Source: Anna Marie