Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Make Way for Sprinkles

As many of you already know, Gino, the beloved 65-year-old Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side, has closed and will be replaced by the first New York outpost of "Sprinkles," a cupcake chain store based in Beverly Hills, known as a favorite to celebs like Oprah, Katie Holmes, and Paris Hilton.

In a city altered by cupcake mania, where it's now cupcake lovers vs. a rising tide of angry cupmudgeons, for Gino to turn into a cupcake shop, any cupcake shop, really hurts.

image: Jessie Oleson, cakespy

Recently, an anonymous commenter here called our attention to the widely documented litigiousness of Sprinkles.

In one of their early gestures, they went after Sprinkled Pink Cupcake Couture in Montecito, demanding that they change their name. Said the owner of Sprinkled Pink to the LA Times, "There's room for other cupcake shops. They shouldn't be bullying around or picking on little people like us... I really honestly don't think they invented the cupcake."

image: Snuffleguppy

Reported the LA Times, Sprinkles' lawyers sent out about a dozen similar demands in letters to other cupcake bakeries across the LA area. They challenged another cupcake bakery for putting dots on their cupcakes, and even a frozen yogurt business in Philadelphia.

Sprinkles' very popular cupcake war then inspired someone to create a nefarious website that drew the cupcake curious into its lair and infected them with a virus.

One of the Gossip Girls helped bring Sprinkles to New York. Which rounds out the whole Sex & the Cupcake picture--SATC spawned the cupcake craze and spawned Gossip Girl, both of which helped turn swaths of Manhattan into Beverly Hills East, and the Californication of New York City continues.

image: Anablog

Anyway, I can't help but think: For this, we lose the great Gino, who fed Frank Sinatra, Ed Sullivan, Gay Talese. Who wouldn't change a thing--not a pipe, not a dish--because the place was a landmark for 65 years. For cupcakes, we lose a landmark?


EV Grieve said...

A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a cupcake from his friends.

esquared™ said...

there are now, also, cupcakes for men (pg. 8)

Gino's lasted 65 years. will this new cupcake joint even last 65 months? 65 weeks?

Mark said...

"Things fall apart; the center cannot hold..."

Laura Goggin Photography said...

Move over Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, there's a new abomination in town!

everettsville said...

This turn of events is, as you make clear in your post, a perfectly distilled real-life example of the cultural degradation that this blog rails against. It's as though it were scripted especially for VNY.

esquared, I just can't bring myself to click on that link. I still need the stomach to get through the day! Yes, let us hope for a swift failure, and that they don't hunt us down and sue us for wishing them ill.

Teri Tynes said...

Cupcakes are for kids. We're witnessing a massive infantilization of New York commercial culture. Next, we'll all get measles.

Jeremiah Moss said...

okay, that Butch Bakery, cupcakes for manly men thing, is going too far.

here's the Voice link:

Anonymous said...

You might want to re-credit one of your cupcake illustrations. I'm pretty sure it was lifted without credit from this website: and was done by artist and writer Jessie Oleson.

Jeremiah Moss said...

i think you are right, anon--thanks, i will change the source link. that's the trouble with the internet, you never know for sure about sources.

Grand St. said...


What is your 'drift,' exactly?
Are you saying Magnolia, Billy's and/or Crumbs have mob ties? The five families are in the cupcake business?
Jesu Cristo! What next? Flip flops?!?

chris flash said...

The only "Sprinkle" I like is ANNIE SPRINKLE!!

Jeremiah Moss said...

chris, i second that!

mr. hartford said...

ginos took my check even when they didnt remember me. ive been going there since 1967. my rich uncle took me there when i returned from paris. i was there last 2/09, now what? where do i go in nyc? the carlyle LOOKS the same, foods ok, but they sell t shirts & baseball caps. i kid you not! the upper end is getting cheesy too! waverly inn is good but you need to reserve 2 days ahead in person. johns resturant (e.13st) is 100 yrs old. they took my check too. but they replaced their mashed potatoes w/something from a tube. of cause you cant go on weekends, loud music, guess you would call it yunnie time?