RYAN PIKE FOR THE HOYA Long lines are a frequent disruption for neighbors of Georgetown Cupcake.
Long lines are a frequent disruption for neighbors of Georgetown Cupcake.

Georgetown Cupcake is not all sugar and sprinkles, according to its student neighbors, who say the noise, traffic and trash generated by the popular M Street bakery have left a bad taste in their mouths.

As the popularity of the cupcake shop, featured on the TLC reality show, “DC Cupcakes,” has grown, so has the line that winds around the corner and down 33rd Street.

For neighbors, this means a nearly constant crowd on their doorstep during business hours. Kitty Lichtenstein (MSB ’12), who lived around the corner from the bakery last summer, said the customers were a constant presence.

“The lines would wrap all the way down the block and onto Prospect [Street], and it was ridiculous if you were trying to get somewhere,” she said. “It was just really annoying to deal with the crowds that were constantly there.”

Sophie LaMontagne, co-founder and co-owner of Georgetown Cupcake, said the store is well aware of the potential consequences the large crowds may have on the surrounding community and works hard to ensure that no problems arise.

“One of our staff is always stationed at the entrance to our shop to greet customers, answer their questions and manage the line so that customers are respectful of neighboring businesses and residences,” LaMontagne said.

But Max Stoiber (SFS ’11), whose apartment lies next to the bakery, said that the lines often encroach upon residential space.

“Customers sit on the stairs and block your way when you are trying to get to your house,” he said. “But the people in the line are very courteous and always very friendly.”

Federico del Bono (COL ’12), who lives on 33rd Street around the corner from the cupcakery, said that the line blocks entrances to his apartment and exits from the complex’s garage. Del Bono added that the store does not dispose of its trash properly, often storing it in his complex’s garage.

“I think we have a rat colony living with us now,” he said.

Students have also cited concerns about the noise levels generated by the crowds.

“I think the noise definitely is bothersome. It makes it hard to sleep in because it is very noisy and the little kids are yelling,” Stoiber said.

Some students have turned directly to Georgetown Cupcake’s proprietors to resolve the issue.

“We’ve been asking them now for seven months to do something about it,” del Bono said.

So far, he said that the neighbors have not gotten much of a response to their complaints.

“One of our neighbors got free cupcakes once. That’s about it.”

LaMontagne said that the store has not had any problems with disruptive customer behavior.

“Our customers are peaceful and quiet, and we’ve never had any issues ever with rowdy behavior,” she said.

LaMontagne added that Georgetown Cupcake aims to be an active and respectful member of the neighborhood.

According to some students, the perks of living near the store have been slim.

Del Bono said that six months ago Georgetown Cupcake neighbors were able to buy cupcakes, but recently the lines have become far too long to even try.

Jason Milliken (COL ’11), who lives at the corner of M and 33rd streets, has also tried to reap the benefits of living so close to the famed location by getting one of the free cupcakes last year, but he was only successful on wintry days when the lines are relatively short.

“[It] would be nice if there was a little bonus for us as their neighbors,” Milliken said.

Lichtenstein, who moved to another house for the academic year, will live next to Georgetown Cupcake once again next year.

“I am going to be living right around the corner from them again, and I am not looking forward to it,” she said.

Del Bono said he is fed up with living next door to the bakery and will seek different housing next year.

“I am actually moving out,” del Bono said. “Because I am tired of it.”

— Hoya Staff Writer Upasana Kaku contributed to this report.

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