2007_09_closedkimono.jpgEater confirmed that cupcake confectioner heavyweight Magnolia Bakery is opening its first branch location on Columbus Avenue and West 69th Street. Magnolia owner Steve Abrams, an Upper West Sider, told Eater, "My friends who know I own Magnolia keep asking when I'm going to open them a bakery up here. So I think it's time."

Well, it's probably time and having the right retail space. The store will occupy the corner that Japanese restaurant Lenge used to be in. A few weeks ago, we saw closed-and-emptied out restaurant, complete with a sign explaining that the owners were retiring after over 30 years of business and a (ceremonial?) kimono displayed on the sushi counter. And could this be a trend four years in the making, less worrying about carbs and sushi joints being usurped by sugar fixes?

With Magnolia scheduled to open late this year, this can mean only one thing: A real showdown between Magnolia and Buttercup Bake Shop, which has a location on West 72nd Street between Amsterdam and Columbus - cupcake wars, part two!

No word on whether the Sex and the City gals will visit Magnolia in its upcoming movie - maybe it will have to deal with the frozen yogurt fad. And if you want to root for an underdog, there's Soutine Bakery, at 104 West 70th Street. It's tiny and incredible - heck, even Ruth Reichl once said of it, "I like the cakes from Soutine so much that I am sometimes tempted to pretend that I baked them myself."