Crazy for Unicorns
4-hour wait greets Houstonians at magical new Montrose unicorn dessert shop
Houston has officially gone crazy for unicorns. People waited up to four hours to sample the wares of the Magical Dessert Bar, the Dallas-based concept devoted to rainbow-colored confections, decadent milkshakes, and glittery-sweets.
“It was crazy. It’s amazing. It’s a good feeling,” director of business Usman Barbar tells CultureMap about the line. “I was expecting a huge crowd. People were buying things to take with them. I wasn’t expecting that.”
Barbar and his partners have transformed their Chills 360 rolled ice cream shop at 907 Westheimer Rd. (and still sporting its exterior signage) with an elaborate unicorn mural and a light up hallway that’s perfect for selfies. The Chills 360 rolled ice cream treats are still available, but if this weekend’s frenzy is any indication, customers are far more interested in milkshakes adorned with slices of cake and multi-colored lemonade wrapped with cotton candy.
At its peak on Saturday, March 9, Barbar says the line extended from the cafe’s front door, all the way along Velvet Taco, and wrapped halfway around the far side of the building. Part of the wait — which dropped to a slightly more reasonable but still Franklin Barbecue-esque two hours on Sunday — stems from the time required to make each milkshake. Barbar says he’s considering adding more machines to expedite the process but wants to ensure sufficient demand before investing as much as $15,000 on new equipment.
On Sunday, the crowd seemed in good spirits. One mother told CultureMap that as long as her kids were happy with their treats, then she was happy to have endured the wait.
Barbar also addressed the allegations that the Magical Dessert Bar isn’t making all of its products. He acknowledges that the cafe “outsources” the production of items like cake pops and cookies to bakeries in Dallas, but notes that the milkshakes, molten lava cake, and a yet-to-be-launched selection of crepes are all made on-site. Also, he notes that the concept's name doesn't include a key word.
“We do not want to be a bakery,” he says. “We’re a dessert bar. We want to focus on desserts . . . We can’t make 400 cupcakes a day.”
His customers certainly don’t seem to mind. The Magical Dessert Bar had to close an hour early on Saturday when it ran out of product.