New York's Cronut bakery reopens to long line of customers after mouse scare

A woman waits to enter the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York on April 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A woman waits to enter the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York on April 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York bakery that invented the Cronut, the wildly popular hybrid pastry, reopened its doors on Tuesday, three days after the health department closed it because of a "severe mouse infestation".

About 50 customers lined up at Dominique Ansel Bakery in Lower Manhattan's Soho neighbourhood on Tuesday to buy the croissant-doughnut mix creations, undeterred by an earlier online video of a mouse scurrying through the shop.

The video prompted city health officials to close the bakery last Friday because of "a severe mouse infestation," said a spokesman for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in an email.

The shop passed inspection on Monday, and customers did not seem too worried about the pests.

"It's New York," said Marcin Gorski, 22, waiting in line in the morning before the shop opened. "A little mouse isn't going to stop me."

He said he sometimes sneaked out of work to buy one of the cream-filled round Cronuts with flaky layers and a glaze topping.

The Cronut was launched last May and quickly became "the most virally talked about dessert item in history," according to the bakery's website.

Line-sitters were charging people too busy to wait up to US$50 (S$62.60) for the US$5 pastry, the New York Post reported at the time.

French chef Ansel, the bakery's owner, addressed the morning crowd, saying that while the closure was a setback, the shop would recover like Rocky Balboa, the legendary film boxer.

"The theme is Rocky," he said. "It's about you take a hit, you go down, but you come back up stronger. And we keep moving forward."

Although other bakeries around the city have produced their own versions of the Cronut, dozens of faithful customers still waited in line on Tuesday for a taste of the authentic pastry.

A Florida couple, Phillip and Sierra Olivares, said they had placed an order two weeks earlier and were picking up the treat on the last stop of their New York vacation before heading to the airport to go back to Orlando.

"Oh my gosh, it's so good," said Mrs Olivares after taking a bite. "I'm so glad we did this."

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