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Earlier this year I reviewed for the Reader a new cupcake place in the Loop that, cashing in on the fad, didn’t even seem to be trying anymore: “Certain entrepreneurs have come to a late-capitalist realization,” I wrote then. “[P]roducts resembling the rough shape, coloring, and (high) price point of a ‘cupcake’ can quite easily be sold as such, gastronomic and/or aesthetic considerations notwithstanding.” It just took me a minute to locate that old review on our website: what was the place called? Sprinkles? No, that’s another cupcake joint, also located downtown. Don’t confuse it with Crumbs. Or More Cupcakes, Molly’s Cupcakes, the Cupcake Gallery, Foiled Cupcakes, Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique, Sweet Mandy B’s, Phoebe’s Cupcakes, or the Cupcake Counter, or Swirlz. Or the cupcake truck. Or the meatloaf-cupcake place.
Put another notch on your bedpost, Chicago: now you’ve got Magnolia Bakery, which opened last Saturday at 108 N. State Street. Magnolia, whose flagship is in New York City, is credited with sparking the cupcake craze (with an assist from Sex and the City) back in the 1990s—so it would appear that in Chicago, things have come full circle. On the other hand, there's a problem with circles. They don’t ever end.