Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Bella Dolce closes
New York Cupcakes expands to the Valley
Though the demise of any business makes for somber news, the end of the run is an even sadder story for those of us who really appreciate a place before it's suddenly gone from the scene. We’re doubly sorry, therefore, to report that Madison Valley’s highly rated Bella Dolce has called it quits, closing its doors on June 30. Owner Joanne Corsi made no bones about the fact that the last year has been a struggle for the cafe, especially given the seemingly-never-ending construction along E. Madison Street through the Valley. In the end, it appears that the economic downturn coupled with the disruption to Madison Valley proved too much for this neighborhood eatery.
Corsi is reportedly headed to Florida, and the space her Euro-style cafe occupied for many years will soon be taken over by a specialty baker arriving from the Eastside. Bella Dolce (meaning beautiful cake in Italian) was known for its red velvet and coconut cupcakes, among other pastries, so it’s [choose one: ironic? poignant? fitting?] that its replacement will be a cupcake establishment.
Sometime in late August or early September New York Cupcakes will make its presence known in Madison Valley. The grand opening will follow a bit of remodeling to the existing space, says owner Lisa Waxman Johnson.
New York Cupcakes, which currently has one location in Bellevue Crossroads, comes to town with a successful three-year track record and the reputation for a quality product (voted second place in the Best Dessert category last year in KING-TV's Best of Western Washington contest, among other awards). Waxman Johnson, who is the principal recipe creator, describes her cupcakes as having a lighter cake texture and lighter frosting than some other competitors in the market. We can all judge that for ourselves when New York Cupcakes invades our locale later this summer: free cupcakes, she confirms, will be part of the grand opening celebration. We'll let you know, of course, when that's going to happen.
What's the story on Belle Epicurean?
We reported in March that another patisserie would soon be arriving to take the space recently vacated by Island Video (3109 E. Madison St.). The anticipated opening date was sometime in June. That obviously didn’t happen, so we called Belle Epicurean to ask 'What’s the deal?' Not surprisingly, delays in remodeling the interior space have pushed back the starting date, we’re told. It now looks like Belle Epicurean will make its appearance in the neighborhood slightly ahead of the time that New York Cupcakes lands here, perhaps late this month or early August.
[New York Cupcakes will be located at 2711 E. Madison Street. Upper photo by Joe Dyer, Seattle Weekly. Lower photo courtesy of New York Cupcakes.]