Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hello Cupcake II

For cupcake fanatics in DC (apparently there are a lot of them), the knowledge that Dupont Circle's Hello Cupcake has been planning to expand to Barracks Row amidst the escalating cupcake frenzy is welcome news. But diversifying the catalog of cake and frosting combos is not the only thing that goes into a new location, as the new store will open with national expectations. While Penny Karas, founder and owner of Hello Cupcake, juggles the tasks of a small business owner, her husband Bill Bonstra and his colleagues at Bonstra Haresign Architects are working to make sure customers at Hello Cupcake's newest location (705 8th Street SE) will consume their sugary treats in a comfortable, colorful, and intelligently designed space.

The original
Bonstra and his team were responsible for the interior design of the first Hello Cupcake store that earned the National 2009 IES Capital Chapter Lighting Award of Merit and also won design awards in each of four categories of the AIA/DC Chapter Awards program. Bonstra said he wasn't exactly surprised, but still humbled and delighted: "We knew we had done something good, but to be recognized by your peers is fantastic." The interior space that Bonstra created on Dupont Circle seems like an upscale and modern take on an airy Candy Land dreamscape. The new space in Southeast will be a continuation of the same, says Bonstra. "The new store will be consistent with the brand that has been developed, and will play on some of the same design themes, but will also be unique, as every project and space is new and different." Bonstra will also adhere to the same LEED and Green Restaurant Association standards that governed many of the design decisions the first go around.

Hello Cupcake or Hello Kitty?
Like the Dupont Circle location, the Barracks Row cupcakery will feature lively signage, generous and inviting windows, and colorful sidewalk furniture. While the previous location was a retail space in the ground floor of a large office building, Hello Cupcake's newest venue replaces Capitol Hill Bikes in a three-story historic row-house, featuring residential units on top of the ground floor retail space. With all this, plus the addition of several planters and flower boxes, Bonstra believes his wife's new location will add "needed vibrancy" to the historic facade and the southern portion of Barracks Row. The new store has the luxury of a basement floor, which will allow Karas to jump-start the nationwide shipping operation she had included in her business plan from the beginning.

Hello Cupcake II interior rendering
Karas hopes that she can tap into some of the baseball fans that shuttle to Nationals' stadium from the nearby Barracks Row eateries. Baseball game traffic won't be back until next spring, but cupcake consumption on Barrack's row should happen before then as construction is set to finish before the first of the new year. Bonstra says that his team is in the process of securing all necessary building permits, and that some minor demolition has already begun. Energized by a few cupcake induced sugar highs, Prill Construction Group is moving speedily ahead as they oversee general contracting work.

Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News


Anonymous said...

Even the ex pastry chef for the White House thinks cupcakes are stupid....
"It is so hot I can hardly think…Although, I do have to ask one question: what is the big deal about cupcakes? Yes they are an American tradition, they're cute, delicious and functional (no knives needed for cutting, no plates needed for holding), yet once everyone realizes that these little gems are simply cake, will we really wait in line for hours just to taste something we've already tasted before? I recently read an article ranking cupcakes #1 of seven dying food trends in 2010 - along with lava cakes and flavored salts. No doubt the cupcake craze will taper off and I promise we won't miss them at $4.50 a pop! Frankly, any experienced baker knows that a cupcake costs about twenty five cents to make; an ingenious business person knows to charge a customer a bit more than that. But don’t choke on that cupcake my friends, let's enjoy each sweet little bite while we wait for the next food trend to come along - there's no telling what it will be!"

Anonymous said...

DC cuisine is SO cutting edge. Cupcakes are the new fro-yo/sliders/small plates. Christ, where is the creativity?

Anonymous said...

I think cupcakes are cool.
can we get some for my 6 year old's birthday party tomorrow?

Anonymous said...

Damn, they are just cupcakes. You can make them yourself at home for a less than a fraction of the price that you would even pay for at one of these stores. I have a co-worker that makes good cupcakes and brings them in on Fridays for everyone to enjoy. Only the culinary challenged would actually pay $4.50 per cupcake-something that would fit into the palm of your hand. People who would even spend this sort of money on 1 cupcake should not even think about having a cow about the economy at this point due to the price that they are willing to pay for a cupcake. But then again, $4-$6 for a single cup of coffee with no re-fill is insane also.

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