Magnolia Bakery opens on the Upper West Side

The uptown branch of Magnolia Bakery at 200 Columbus Avenue (at 69th Street) was filled with kids, sugar, employees and friends of the bakery celebrating its new location last night. They opened this morning at 11 a.m. When asked what he expected opening day to be like, owner Steve Abrams replied, "Mayhem." Their biggest task this week, according to him, has been "keepig people from banging down the door." Passersby have been trying to get some of their beloved cupcakes, and now will finally be able to. Update: See more Magnolia Bakery photos here.

Bobbie Lloyd, who goes by "Chief Baking Officer" but prefers not to have a title, said that cupcakes were always popular at Magnolia, "but Sex and the City and Saturday Night Live blew it out of the water." She estimates that the new store staffs 40 employees. While she wouldn't reveal how many cupcakes the downtown bakery sells in a day, she did say they were hoping not to run out of cupcakes at the new one. Asked about the cupcake explosion in recent years, Lloyd, said, "I'm saddened by what I see out there. There's a lot of people jumping on the bandwagon. There's a lot of inferior product out there."

Staff told us that their #1 bestselling cupcake is the vanilla buttercream/vanilla cake, followed by the red velvet. Cupcakes are their biggest-selling item, followed by their to-die-for banana pudding, then their red velvet cake. The clear crowd favorite, from our informal polling, was the red velvet cupcake.

So what's new at this Magnolia? For one, more space. Waaaay more space. Seating is still being worked out, but there is a side room, which has a restroom, where in the morning people will be able to sit and enjoy their snacks, and later in the day, if it's not booked. If you'd like to reserve the room, you can call and see what dates are available (we can already tell you February 15th is saved for Bobbie's daughter 6th birthday party!).

They'll also have breakfast items like muffins, which Lloyd says the downtown Magnolia carried at the beginning, "but once cupcakes took over, there was no oven time." Otherwise, the menu, including cupcakes, will be exactly the same.

Also, that annoying you-can-only-buy-one-dozen-cupcakes-at-a-time rule? Gone at the uptown bakery. You can buy as many as you like...within reason. Lloyd advised that if you're looking for several dozen or any specific types of cupcakes in bulk, call ahead. They plan to do offsite catering as well so all you brides and grooms and party freaks out there, get ready to place your orders.

Judging from the seemingly neverending rounds of cupcakes that kept being placed on trays, only to be scooped up by kids decorating them with as many kinds of sprinkles as they could, to adults carefully selecting their favorites, they've got the knack of making and icing their cupcakes down.

Here are some photos from Nichelle, many more coming soon:

Here's me (Rachel) about to eat my first cupcake of the night, a vanilla/vanilla one. I entered the party sure that vanilla/vanilla was my all-time favorite. The cupcakes were incredibly fresh and moist and the vanilla did not disappoint. But oh, the chocolate buttercream...I think it might be even better than vanilla. It's a tough call!

Frosting's always better when it's on your nose:

Maple pumpkin cupcake:

I know our tagline is "All Cupcakes All The TIme," but Magnolia's banana pudding really is quite delicious:

Many more photos coming soon, and look for a Magnolia Bakery interview here in coming weeks. If you've been to the new Magnolia, let us know how it compares!

Here's the official press release, and their hours:

Monday – Thursday, 7 am – 11:30 pm
Friday, 7 am – 12:30 am
Saturday, 8 am – 12:30 am
Sunday, 8 am – 10:30 pm

A commenter at Eater reports: at 10:05 p.m.:

I live a block away and saw the line at noon when the place opened. It seemed packed all day (no, I'm not a stalker, but was running a bunch of errands today so passed by several times. Wait, maybe I am a stawker given that one incident in college), including at around 7:30pm when I went by on my way to dinner (yea, early, I know, but I have a kid so was just sneaking out for a bit and 2 year olds tends to notice if you are gone for too long). When the wife and I were walking back to the apt at around 9, Magnolia was sold out. The owner was at the door turning people away saying that there was nothing left. We managed to get in (I could tell you how, but the reason is even less intersting that the normal post about cupcake shops) and buy three of the remaining five cupcakes (having to elbow out one nasty 70 year old bitch and reach around (did I just use that phrase?) one indicisive couple). What a pain in the ass. In the 5 minutes that we were in there, the owner must have turned away literally 50 people, including one group of about 10 pretty cute Barnard girls (or at least I think that they were Barnard girls. What other 19 year olds would be in the UWS on a Sat night? I wanted to tell them to watch the cupcake intake, but perhaps they were just there for the novelty of the 1st day opening). OK, so on to the cupcakes. I do like a Magnolia cupcake, so perhaps I'm a little biased (although the Cupcake Cafe is my favorite), but pretty damn good I must say. Quite fresh, with a ton of frosting. The cake is just better. Oh and I didn't have to wait in a 30 minute line like an ass to get it. Thumbs up I say.


Jess said…
I LOVE the way that the frosting looks in that top picture - any idea on what kind of tip you would need to do that beautiful wide swirly thing?
Cakespy said…
This is so exciting! I can't wait to visit when I'm in NYC in February!!
Samantha Diaz said…
There is no tip used to frost these - just a rounded spatula
Loreto Vasquez said…
Just a spatula, all the good cupcake stores ice with spatula, no tip.