Food & Drink
Armie Hammer's Bird Bakery shows sweet possibilities
Published: April 11, 2012
Nestled in a quaint Alamo Heights shopping center, Bird Bakery is just as cute as its name suggests — especially if you have a thing for birds. Walking into the shop on Saturday for the grand opening, I couldn't help but think of the obsessed couple from IFC's hit show Portlandia putting bird motifs on everything in sight. At Bird Bakery avians decorate T-shirts, water bottles, cups, and to-go bags. On this day, there was even a man walking around the shop with a very real eagle perched on his arm. I got over my health inspector's resistance to wildlife in an eatery, however, as soon as the bird flapped its wings, sending a cool breeze across the room (it was a hot and humid day, folks).
The décor was shabby chic. Dark wood floors contrasted the starch-white walls with a mint green counter serving as the accent piece. An elegant chandelier dangled over a wooden table decorated with a vase of flowers. The natural sunlight entering through the front of the shop reflected the bright and cheery attitudes of the customers and the employees. White lights twinkled amidst the exposed rafter beams as I sat on a cushioned bench enjoying my cupcake. It was a pleasant place to be on a Saturday afternoon.
As for the sweets… I tried their signature vanilla cupcake, which was oh-so-good. The cake itself was a bit dry and fairly plain in flavor but the icing offered a light pink swirl of whipped sweetness (with delicate white sprinkles to top). Other cupcake flavors included red velvet, carrot cake, chocolate, and salted caramel. Bird also serves lemon squares, cookies, and coffee: three requirements for any place looking to succeed in the business.
Founders Armie Hammer, known for his role as the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network, and his wife, actress Elizabeth Chambers, ran the show. The pair spent most of their time rushing back and forth between the kitchen and the front room, occasionally appeasing starry-eyed guests by posing for photographs. Although I wasn't brave enough to ask for a photo with Hammer, I did snag an opportunity to take a picture with the eagle and its handler. Not as cool.
While cupcake shops certainly aren't a new trend, I am sure that Bird Bakery will find a niche among the Alamo Heights crowd. Recent experience suggests that if you build a cupcake bakery, people will come. And judging by the crowd on Saturday, Bird Bakery has a sweet future ahead.