If you ask The Shophound, we would tell you that cupcakes have been done to death. There is certainly no shortage of cupcake bearing bakeries in the city, and they have become something of a a cliché among those who like to think of themselves as trendsetters. It's not that we wouldn't happily consume a cupcake of you put it in front of us, but it is fancy French macarons like the ones we scarfed down at La Maison du Chocolat or from the imminently opening Ladurée that are the current bite-sized sweet indulgence of choice. That shift in status won't slow Magnolia Bakery from expanding throughout the city, however. Having staked out territory in the West Village, Upper West Side, Midtown and Grand Central Terminal, the bakery that can be credited/blamed for creating a craze for twee little cakes will finally be serving the East Side not from its own store, but from an outpost in Bloomingdale's. Slated to open in September, the in-store shop will be open from 7:30 AM to 10 PM offering the bakery's full line of confections.
Unexpectedly, the shop will located at the central Third Avenue entrance which usually leads right into the Men's department. It's not that men won't eat cupcakes, but, possibly because of the bakery's association with the TV show "Sex And The City", they have something of a trendy, girly image. This particular spot would seem to be more appropriate for a pretzel bar, for example (There is already a burger restaurant downstairs in the Men's Department). Issues of gender mores aside, however, we aren't worried that the bakery counter won't be successful since there is still a great number of people for whom the word "cupcake" triggers an involuntary urge to stand in line and salivate. As impressed as we have been with Bloomingdales' ongoing efforts to update and upgrade its flagship, we can't help thinking that in this particular instance, the legendary store has fallen a little bit behind the curve.