Where Do Your Loyalties Lie?

Illustration from pictures from Alicia Griffen and Hey Love DC.

Yesterday’s morning post discussed a neighbor’s ostentatious show of loyalty for Baked and Wired steps away from Georgetown Cupcake’s notorious line of customers. It’s a heated issue around town, and it seems to GM that most Georgetowners come down pretty clearly on one side or the other.

On the Georgetown Cupcake side, you’ve got a couple pretty strong points:

  • The cupcakes are nearly as nice to look at as they are to eat
  • The flavor variety is pretty incredible
  • They’re aspirational

On the negative side of the balance sheet for Georgetown Cupcake:

  • The lines, obviously
  • While waiting in said lines, you’re surrounded by tourists, which has only gotten worse since the reality show
  • The cupcakes are not that big
  • There’s nothing else on the menu

For Baked and Wired, there’s a different set of positives:

  • Tons of frosting
  • A still strong variety of flavors
  • It’s not really a “cupcakery”, it’s a coffee house that serves a lot of stuff, including great cupcakes
  • No lines

The negatives for Baked and Wired are limited, in GM’s opinion:

  • Some people find the frosting too sweet
  • GM guesses some people get excited by the idea of being on a reality TV set, you won’t get that at Baked & Wired

More to the point, GM thinks that Baked & Wired has gained a reputation around town as the “true Georgetowner’s” choice: sort of a rebellion against the over-exposure of the attention-seeking Georgetown Cupcake. That appeal may explain why a neighbor–probably tired of seeing sweating tourists and suburbanites stand in line in front of his or her house–would decide to stage a tongue-in-cheek protest.

On one level it’s pointless to compare the stores. They’re simply too different and but for the common thread of serving great cupcakes, they wouldn’t get mentioned together. But on another level, each represents a different vision of Georgetown: one the preppy and prim Georgetown of national reputation that draws tens of thousands of visitors here every year; the other the homey and funky Georgetown that makes living here worthwhile and that still exists in pockets despite the chain invasion.

But maybe GM’s trying too hard to find meaning in layers of cream cheese frosting (bear in mind that August in a slow news month). Where do your loyalties lie?



Filed under Around Town

2 responses to “Where Do Your Loyalties Lie?

  1. Carol Joynt

    Once again, we should be grateful to have both shops in Georgetown.

    None has much to do with the other, as GM points out. One is a coffee shop and cafe, serving breakfast and lunch items as well as pastries, cakes, cookies, bagels and quiche. The other is a cupcake shop, with NO PRETENSE of being anything else.

    Both are excellent at what they do, both bring up the neighborhood, and both are owned and run by very pleasant and professional individuals.

    If Georgetown is hot to pit cupcake against cupcake, why restrict the competition to B&W and GTCC? Be fair. Include Furin’s, who had cupcakes long ago, and Dean & Deluca, who have them every day. Also, Safeway and Marvelous Market.

    There is a spiteful jealousy factor aimed at GTCC, which comes with success, but it should be noted the spite is not shared or expressed by the owners or staff at B&W.

    The lines at Georgetown Cupcake are there because its a unique hit. Once upon a time unique successes defined the village’s commercial area, rather than retreads and chains. Georgetown would do well to figure out how to attract more one of a kind hits.

  2. Previous unique “hits” in Georgetown:
    The French Market
    The Cellar Door
    Howrd Joynt’s Nathans
    The Little Taverns
    Maison des Crepes
    Peoples Drug Store’s lunch counter
    Neam’s Market
    Olsson’s Books & Records
    The Tombs
    Clyde’s Omelette Room
    Little Caledonia at Christmastime
    Woolworth’s lunch counter

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