Too many times to count, I would pick up my phone long after prime time hours, and exchange the words “peanut butter pie” with my bestie Jen. We would hustle down (or in her case over) to the Cake Shop and late night snacking and catching up would ensue. I’ve had countless quality hangouts over delicious treats and beverages while sinking deep into their comfy furniture that looks like it was swiped from the sidewalk. You never know what you’re going to get at the Cake Shop. It could be a quiet afternoon coffee session or a random night where they play the same three Vivian Girls songs on repeat. The one guarantee is you’ll feel good and have fun. That is unavoidable.
It saddens me maybe a little too much that the Cake Shop chapter of my life might soon be coming to a close. According to NY Mag, if Cake Shop doesn’t raise $50,000 by June 20th, it will be forced to close it’s doors. The recent Lower East Side security crack down has made it financially tricky for them to stay in business and according to co-owner Nick Bodor they’ve made it so “you have to be 21 to buy a piece of cake.”
Now, I’m all for the city trying to be a safer place for residents and tourists, but this seems a little ridiculous. The article states that because of legislation, Cake Shop would now need a rope and a bouncer as where before anyone could go in and enjoy the bakery. They say there’s no way to prove every single person is carded at the bar when they buy a drink. It all seems a little silly. If an Applebee’s opened up on the LES (which at this point isn’t out of the realm of possibility) would they need a bouncer too? They also offer alcohol in addition to their food…
I think in areas where there’s a high frequency of drinking, it’s important to have a place underage people can hang out also. That way, instead of them having to scam and lie as a result of being excluded, they have options that don’t involve using their sister’s old drivers license…. Which I totally didn’t do when I first moved here. I travelled to Martha’s Vineyard this summer and visited Back Door Donuts, which is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.
Like most bakeries, Back Door does all it’s baking at night, and being that it’s located in the center of MV’s going out district, the smell of sweet donut goodness attracted a lot of visitors after hours. In order to capitalize on this, they started selling their donuts and fritters and cinnamon rolls to customers right out of the oven. The line stretches down the block every night at Back Door and as you can imagine, it attracts a lot of kids who have nowhere else to go at those hours. The city tried to close it all down, but there was an outpouring of parents and residents who objected saying that it was a safe, legal option for their kids and they’d prefer to know that that’s where they were all hanging out. Luckily Back Door still runs it’s back door business uninterrupted cause let me tell you, those are some GOOD donuts.
Suffice to say, Cake Shop should probably stay open. It’s a mecca for good desserts, good drinks, and awesome music. It’s a great place to go in the LES when getting wasted isn’t at the top of your priority list and you want to spend your time with like-minded people. Also, to lose their peanut butter pie would just be a travesty.
In order to raise the money, Cake Shop is looking for a financial backer, however even if you don’t have 50 grand, you can still help by emailing email@example.com. I know I’m going to. And in the meantime, go to Cake Shop. At least until June 20th it’s still one of the best ways you can fill up free time.