Today's the day, cupcake lovers! The doors open to the latest addition to our city's luxury cupcake lineup. Sprinkles is opening their first East Coast location at 3015 M Street after years of success in other cities, including their first location in Beverly Hills. The Georgetown store moves into the space formerly occupied by Mon Cheri, but has sat vacant for the last four years. "We knew we wanted to be in an historic building, because we don't have that opportunity on the West Coast," said Charles Nelson, one half of the married couple who founded Sprinkles six years ago. "We were very familiar with the area. I went to UVA and my wife's parents lived here for over ten years. We knew we wanted to be in Georgetown, and we knew we wanted it to be M Street." Little did they know the work it would take to bring the building up to code. Keep reading after the jump to find out the gory refurbishment details and check out our sister site—Eater DC—for some first-look photos and the story on the cupcakes themselves.
Renovations started with attacking the gravel pit in the basement and the second floor that had to be gutted and rebuilt 'basically from scratch'. More steel beams were required to keep the load-bearing structures in place and water seepage from the ground behind was a constant problem. They also had the Historical Preservation Review Board to keep happy and that meant, amongst other things, that the bay window had to stay. They ended up liking the window configuration, however, since according to Charles, "it is the coolest seat in the place. You can see ten blocks in either direction."
Once the bones were seen to, they could finally concentrate on the look of the store. This proved to be yet another challenge since they wanted to remain consistent with the look of other Sprinkles locations. This is such a departure for us," says Charles. "Our Chicago store has a brick façade with Sprinkles dots and La Jolla is a solid glass box. Here we thought the solid brown façade would disappear so paint became something we had to play with. We added the pink cornice to bring it out."
One thing they were able to keep the same was the Sprinkles way of using natural light. "We added a skylight to the upstairs kids party room so you can look down into the store. In all our stores we make sure to have a continuous presence all the way up to the top so you can feel the energy of the store beneath you." With opening day finally here, the Nelsons are ready to move on to other store openings in the near future, but the hurdles of working with an historic building are still something they don't regret. "Even with all of the challenges, we couldn't be prouder to restore this to its former glory," says Charles.