Restaurants / Openings

Montrose’s Unicorn Dessert Shop Builds Crazy Buzz as Dallas’ Haven Revamps and Fort Worth Awaits its Own Magic

The Hottest Trend in Texas Food Has a Horn — and the Sweet Madness is Only Beginning

BY // 03.27.19

Every once in awhile, a restaurant hits on something special, as unexpected as it might seem. Fortune can favor the bold, especially in the case of novelty shops.

And it sure looks like Houston’s newest haven for treats and confections has hit that sweet spot. At Magical Dessert Bar in Montrose, life truly is all rainbows and unicorns.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. The winding four-hour long line on opening day speaks for itself. Unicorn fanatics stood in the queue for hours on end, all for a taste of pink hot chocolate, magical milkshakes topped with unicorns and hefty slices of six-layer rainbow cake, chocolate molten lava cake topped with a cloud of airy cotton candy and four flavors of lemonade — blue curaçao, mango, lychee and lavender — served in a lit-up lightbulb and also topped with that sweet, sticky stuff.

Things have slowed down some at 907 Westheimer in the weeks since the grand opening.

“On the early weekdays we had close to a two-hour wait. But that was all Spring Break,” co-owner Alex Imam tells PaperCity. But lines of 13 or more are still forming just after the shop’s 1 pm opening time on weekdays.

“We had a store in Dallas — when we opened, it had the same response, a lot of people waited for two to three hours there as well. For the whole three months on the weekend it was a two to three hour wait. Houston is a bigger market,” he adds.

Revamping Dallas’ Unicorn Magic

The Dallas Magical Dessert Bar has temporarily closed, but that’s an indication of popularity, not declining interest. Capacity was an issue at the original outpost’s creative and colorful digs on Deep Ellum, so it was shuttered to prep for the Houston opening and create a Dallas “unicorn house,” which is set to reopen on April 27th.

Fanatics drove hours and hours to get to the Dallas store — everywhere from Austin and San Antonio to beyond. It’s already got quite the creative cult following.

The decor may be a big part of that.

When you first step into Magical Dessert Bar, your eyes will take a few seconds to adjust to the sheer pinkness of all. It’s not clear what you call a group of unicorns — herd doesn’t sound quite right — but a bevy of them are suspended from the ceiling, surrounded by chandeliers draped with floral garlands. Little statuettes and figurines of the magical creatures line the dessert counter and prance on shelves above the pink tables. Fluffy white clouds hang from the ceiling, too.

“Everything is bright and really nice and cool in here. It’s nice to get away out of the sun,” says Grace Peckis, a teen here with a group of friends.

“Everything looks really nice, all pink. And I like pink,” Kia Morrow laughs. “People are nice here, and it’s just really cute. Everything is just like a little fairy house,” her friend Nancy Ortega adds.

But it may come off a bit cloying to some. “I’m not really girly, so it’s not my favorite,” Clarissa Thurick says, decked out in a black T-shirt. Her friend Bailey Bowman, on the other hand, has a glittery unicorn shirt on. They both tried the Cookie Monster ice cream and unicorn lemonade.

“Kids are crazy about unicorns. Everybody loves unicorns. Unicorns are loved by kids as well as adults,” Imam chuckles.

Unicorn-themed ice cream is on the Magical Dessert Bar menu, along with a range of unicorn accessories.

“Badges, T-shirts, caps, bows, hairbands. A lot of girl accessories,” Imam says.

Also on the horizon — catering for birthday parties and events, complete with a decorative table and unicorn balloons all over the place. Don’t expect it super soon, though.

“Right now, we’re slammed with so many calls and messages. We’re not taking reservations yet. We’re not taking anything until we’re sure we have something really great planned,” Imam notes.

“Our main purpose of this store is to have a ‘Wow’ factor. We want kids to come and get excited.”

So far, some have been wowed, and others haven’t. In just a few short weeks, Houston’s Magical Dessert Bar has racked up 60 reviews on Yelp, with a total score of 3.5. One note: Magical Dessert Bar does not — and does not claim to — bake all of its goodies. Some of the goods are outsourced to other bakeries.

Either the way, the magic is truly taking off, with a new Fort Worth location set to open on April 12th.

Magical Dessert Bar and its unicorns aren’t just a myth. You can see for yourself from noon to midnight during the week at Houston’s shop, and 12 pm to 3 am on the weekends.

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