North Texas Blinks hit up Blackpink pop-up cafe for 'Ice Cream' ahead of Dallas concerts
On a breezy Saturday afternoon, customers of Aqua S in downtown Dallas were greeted with glittery black-and-pink streamers, lifelike cutouts of Blackpink band members Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa and the group’s hit, “Kill This Love,” blasting in the background.
Leading up to Blackpink’s concerts in Dallas on Tuesday and Wednesday at the American Airlines Center, Aqua S is hosting a pop-up cafe to celebrate the arrival of the beloved pop group – which recently made history as the first female K-pop band to hit #1 in the U.S. on the Billboard 200 with their second album "Born Pink."
Francis Pham, store manager at Aqua S, said among their Blackpink-themed specialty items, the Pink Venom (named after the group’s hit song) is the most popular. Subtle would not be the first word that comes to mind: It comes in a lightbulb-shaped container which is filled with a lychee-soda drink, edible pink glitter that gives it a cloudy effect, blueberry yogurt boba and pomegranate heart pipette that you can squeeze to change the drink’s color.
The pop-up cafe brought out fans like 18-year-old Madison Pham who saw the event on TikTok. She’s proud to call herself a “Blink,” a member of the Blackpink fandom, and said she started stanning the group a year ago. There’s an endless list of reasons why she considers herself a devoted fan.
“I'm really into fashion. I also love just how close they seem with each other and I just like their personalities,” she said.
Her favorite band member is Lisa, a rapper-singer-dancer from Thailand.
“I like just her aura, just the way she carries herself,” Pham said, as she sips her Black-Pink themed drink which has Pink tea and white boba pearls.
She’s one of rare few who has tickets to both nights of Blackpink’s concerts in Dallas on Tuesday and Wednesday, which have nearly sold out. The college student, who’s majoring in computer science, got them in a Blink membership pre-sale and paid over $1,000.
Others like 24-year-old Daizy Johnson, who volunteered at the pop-up event, is also a big Blackpink fan but wasn’t able to get tickets to the concerts in Dallas.
“I do have friends that are going and I'm hoping that they record a bunch of it so I can look at it and live vicariously through them later, because I think it's been like three or so years since they've toured or something like that,” Johnson said.
They wore gray camo pants, Doc Martins with pink ribbon laces, a pink tank-top with a Black collar top studded with little marshmallows. Dangling under Johnson's pink-and-black colored hair were earrings shaped like a green Soju bottle and shot glass. They credit Blackpink’s success to their talent, hard work and relatability.
“I think it's really interesting because their image and their brand and their music all centers around them being like really exclusive and like high up. But they're very down to earth people and they even when they're on long hiatuses, they go out of their way to be, like, kind and interact with their fans as much as possible and travel and be as worldly as possible – and I think that's really admirable.”
Their favorite band member is Rosé, who’s a Korean-New Zealand singer-dancer. Jones said they’re partial to Blackpink’s older music like “Kill This Love” and “Really,” but also appreciates “Type of Girl” from their new album, "Pink Venom."
While Johnson – who’s of Korean descent – was a study abroad student at Yonsei University in Korea from 2018-2019, they attended a Blackpink concert and recalls having a great time.
“I've seen a lot of K-Pop shows and like the energy in some very much so outweigh the energy at others and they're [Blackpink] very, very good at making sure that everyone has a good time at their shows,” Johnson said.
Standing in front of Aqua S, Jones said Blackpink’s recent recognition in the history books makes sense. All four band members – Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa – all speak English fluently and are from different parts of the world including the U.K., Thailand and New Zealand.
“I think having such a worldly group with so many different ethnicities and nationalities really helps with their ability to feel relatable to everyone else,” they said.
“They do a really good job in the way that they present themselves and the way that they post things online and how frequently and in how many languages that they do that keeps everyone constantly engaged.”
Like so many Blinks in North Texas, they're just excited for Blackpink to arrive in Dallas.
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