Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Next Big Sweet Thing

beardpapa_puff_croppedWhen we were driving through downtown Redwood City last week to get to the Old Port Lobster Shack, it was hard not to notice all of the construction going on. The "On Broadway" project that was supposed to wrap up in late 2005... then early 2006... now has a May 2006 completion date.

As previously mentioned, the new retail/dining/cinema development will include a FatBurger and a Marble Slab. Now comes word that there will also be something called "Beard Papa." Strange name and old-man mascot? Yes. But apparently, they serve up amazing cream puffs -- fresh from the oven (they're baked, not fried), filled with a vanilla cream custard, and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

So a little history on the place: The full name is Beard Papa Sweets Cafe. It is a Japanese chain that boasts about 250 stores worldwide. It's already opened locations in NY, NJ, SoCal, Hawaii and Boston. A San Francisco one is coming any day now. In addition to the vanilla cream puffs, they apparently offer rotating flavors such as green tea, chocolate, strawberry, royal milk tea, caramel and coffee.

Oh, and it's no coincidence that the mascot resembles Santa Claus. As one company spokesman said, "When people think of Santa Claus, it makes them happy, and so Beard Papa makes people happy."

Cupcakes and donuts be warned: Japanese cream puffs are coming!