Private cops take over cupcake corner

Photo by The Georgetown Dish
The line outside Georgetown Cupcake, now watched by off-duty police
The line outside Georgetown Cupcake, now watched by off-duty police

Privately hired off-duty police officers now help oversee pedestrian, customer and vehicle traffic at the hugely popular Georgetown Cupcake in Georgetown.  That’s the spot made famous nationally by TLC’s TV show based on the pizzazz of the shop and its founders.

 “They (the security guards) provide customer and employee security as well as help keep control of pedestrian traffic on the corner of 33rd and M Streets,” said Sophie LaMontagne, co-owner of Georgetown Cupcake with her sister, Katherine Kallinis.

The intersection is not simple to figure out for motorists or for pedestrians, and hasn’t become any easier with the heavy foot traffic of cupcake seekers.

Left turn signal onto 33rd from M Street (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Left turn signal onto 33rd from M Street
A not-so-easy-to-see traffic sign warning drivers not to make a right turn on red onto one-way 33rd Street from M Street is often ignored or overlooked, as witnessed on Monday. Traffic on M coming from the direction of Canal Road can turn left with the help of an arrow timed to flash on at intervals.   (On 33rd above M, curbside parking is allowed by the city, limiting moving vehicles to a single lane.)

Those on foot and cyclists often get annoyed with the traffic signals, so they choose to flout them.

The result: congestion can be akin to chaotic traffic in Rome.

“We have hired security guards at both our Georgetown and Bethesda locations, and they are present daily to monitor customer and employee security,” LaMontagne said in an e-mail to The Dish.  “Customer and pedestrian safety is extremely important to us, so we put this system in place back in early March.”

Summertime --  and the livin’ is easier (and safer) with the security guards, a Dish observer noted on Memorial Day afternoon.

As the sun bore down hot, and many at Cupcake Corner were impatient, a security guard kept his unflappability -- escorting folks across the intersection, pointing out the no-turn-on-red sign to out-of-towners, and dealing with scofflaws just wanting to get away with a snub to the rules. 

In cupcake lingo: security is sweet.

0 Comments For This Article

Foxhall Village neighbor

Why bother when the better ones are at the other end of Georgetown! :)


Foxhall Village Neighbor - I agree!!


Used to like Georgetown Cupcake, but now I am a huge fan of Sprinkles.... Still need to try Baked and Wired.


I say, let the tourists eat cake. And the better places will just have to remain our little secrets ;-)