Cupcakes are coming!

Saturday, January 19th, 2008 | All Things, Eats

Steve Abrams caused a flurry of excitement (and a bit of dread) when word first leaked out in September that he would be opening a second outpost of the (in)famous Magnolia Bakery on the Upper West Side, the neighborhood where he and his family have been longtime residents. (In November, Steve’s brother Danny opened an Upper West Side outpost of his successful downtown spot, The Mermaid Inn.)

The new Magnolia Bakery space at 200 Columbus Avenue, which housed Japanese restaurant Lenge for two decades, is at least twice the size of the West Village original and will include a private party room. Steve contracted architect Mark Zeff (who designed his brother’s Red Cat and Mermaid Inn restaurants) for the gut renovation.

The bakery, already widely known for its pastel swirl-topped cupcakes, became explosively, unbearably popular after a 2000 appearance on Sex and the City. Magnolia launched a crop of copycats around town, incited vicious cupcake wars, and inspired Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell to rap poetic about their “bomb frostings.” On fair weather days, the lines wrapped along West 11th Street have been known to stretch over an hour long; I’d observe again that New Yorkers are nuts, but I don’t know how many of the people waiting on line for those — let’s be honest, aside from that vanilla “buttercream” icing: pretty average — cupcakes are actual New Yorkers.

Abrams plans for the new location to get back to its original roots of a neighborhood bakery, opening at 7AM and offering breakfast goods in addition to the bakery’s flagship items. Due to demand, cupcakes have taken over almost the entire bulk of production downtown. (In 2003, Magnolia’s then-owner Alyssa Torrey claimed that it took in over $40,000 a week from cupcakes alone. How else to afford the $400,000-per-year lease at the uptown location?) Also, sugar addicts can rejoice that the strict dozen cupcake limit will be lifted for the Upper West Side.

Although the official launch was not to take place until Monday, January 21, Magnolia Bakery UWS was doing brisk business this Saturday afternoon as word of the stealth, early opening quickly spread.

Magnolia Bakery

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There are 2 Comments ... Cupcakes are coming!

January 24, 2008

I saw it when we were coming out of Telepan and thought mayhap they shark jumped by opening on the UWS? Can someone make cupcakes that are frosted everywhere and/or make muffin top cupcakes so each cupcake bite results in frosting every time?

January 25, 2008

Top of the Muffin to you!
Interesting. I don’t see why cupcakes couldn’t be made in a muffin-top pan… I’m sensing a good business opportunity here.

Go for it ...