This Mother’s Day, my friends and I decided to do a little something different. Every year, we are faced with the inevitable “spread yourself so thin that you don’t have time for yourself” Mother’s Day Sunday. Instead of grumbling about it, this year we planned a pre-Mother’s Day celebration that was all about US. We visited the Sugar Factory for brunch and hit up the Outlets. Sugar, cocktails and shopping with two of my best friends? Best. Mother’s Day. Ever. If you want to plan a Gal’s Day Out, lucky you- I have already put together the perfect equation for your outing! Sugar Factory + Outlet Shopping = Perfection.
When we first arrived at the Sugar Factory, I spied the outdoor seating area immediately. If you live in the Midwest, you value the precious few moments of gorgeous weather and appreciate anywhere that provides the opportunity to enjoy it! I knew this was my place when I spied a chandelier on the patio over a chic, cozy booth!
As you walk through the front door, you are greeted by walls and walls of sugary sweets- calling it just a candy store would be like calling Christian Louboutins just shoes. They have every candy (and ice cream!) imaginable- from Jelly Bellys to chocolate-covered gummy bears to my favorite- the peanut-butter filled Ritz cracker sandwich, covered in chocolate. Best part? It is all one price per pound, so you fill up a logo’d bucket and go crazy!
There are also some specialty items, like the Couture Pops. Apparently, this trend is coming from the west to the east- lollipops as accessories! You can keep the blinged out stick and swap in a new sucker when you finish.
We dined in the Chocolate Lounge, an intimate space beyond the dining room that lives up to its name- chocolate walls, chocolate booths, more chandeliers (never enough!), and TVs showing photos from Sugar Factory locations around the globe (Sugar Factory Bahrain, anyone??). It has a club-like atmosphere, with a DJ spinning from a booth overlooking the scene.
Let’s start with the important stuff, shall we? The cocktails. I didn’t know what to expect- I figured they might have a few themed martinis on their menu. I was blown away by the Goblet- 60 ounces of insanely delicious concoctions. The three of us shared one- the Lollipop Passion, since it is their signature Goblet. It was a mixture of melon, coconut and pineapple served over dry ice and topped with those unicorn suckers we all used to get as kids AND a candy necklace! I expected it to taste sticky sweet, but it was seriously one of the best mixed drinks I have had. They make all of their cocktails by hand, no pre-made mixes that taste like over-sweetened KoolAid. I saw a little girl downing one in the main dining room, and realized that you can order them without alcohol as well (but really, why would I ever do that….).
I had to move on to the martinis, just to sample of course. They have two types- candy-inspired and chocolate. I sipped on the Cotton Candy Cosmo- it came complete with a puff of cotton candy on the stir stick! It was incredibly sweet but not in a bad way- it balanced the vodka well. One of my friends ordered the Watermelon Rancher martini- adorable- and the other tried the Peace, Love & Harmonie cocktail. I was going to list all of the cocktails that they serve, but realized this post would be insanely long, so here is the menu link!
Now how about food? Ok, how many times do you go to a restaurant where they focus on the cocktails and food is an afterthought? NOT HERE! All of our meals were amazing, and the menu is comprehensive. Our meals included the Lobster Roll, Cream Cheese Smashed Potato Flat Bread, and the Chicken and Waffle Sandwich. The only disappointing thing for me was that I became too full for dessert! On my must try list for next time- Make A Wish Milkshake (Think birthday cake in a shake) and Red Velvet Sundae.
Wait, there’s more! They are adding an outdoor patio lounge complete with fire pits this summer. Ok, sign me up, I will definitely be back! P.S. The Fashion Outlets of Chicago are across the street. After that many cocktails, can you image the credit card damage we did?? WORTH IT!
Oh- and I will be bringing Charlotte here. American Girl is nice and all, but candy and cocktails?? Yep, sounds more like my kind of mother-daughter outing. (FYI, this place is incredibly kid-friendly during the day!)
A huge thank you to Sugar Factory for having us, it was truly the best Girl’s Day Out ever!