Cookie dough line gets a rise out of some locals

Who needs cronuts? A happy customer near the LaGuardia Place cookie-dough hot spot. Photo by Tequila Minsky

BY LEVAR ALONZO | Since the start of the year, a new Greenwich Village sweet spot, Cookie DŌ NYC, has had people lining up for hours just for a taste of the uncooked treat.

The shop, which opened in January at 550 LaGuardia Place, between W. Third and Bleecker Sts., sells a $4 single scoop of cookie dough, in a variety of 20 different flavors, including gluten-free and vegan choices.

The coveted stuff is made with pasteurized eggs instead of raw eggs, meaning there is no chance of getting salmonella from it. The place also uses heat-treated ready-to-eat flour, making it safe to consume raw but also suitable for baking.

Despite the dough dispensary being an instant hit and gaining citywide acclaim, some Greenwich Villagers  have taken issue with the enormous lines outside the shop.

Neighbors say not only do people wait two to three hours just for the cookie dough, but they block the sidewalk, plus it makes it tough for anybody in a wheelchair or walker trying to get by.

“There are often 500 people as early as 10 a.m. lined up to buy the stuff,” said Patrick Jay, a New York University Tandon School of Engineering graduate student. “I am an able-bodied person but I am bored of bumping into people. God bless them for having good business. But God help anyone who tries to use the surrounding sidewalks.”

The long lines have prompted some residents to ask whether the business truly cares for the community. One local says, even though the lines have gotten a bit better, his M.O. simply is to avoid DŌ.

“Lines are a bit less, but honestly, I try to walk on other streets if I can,” said Timothy McDarrah. “There’s one metal barrier on their side of the street now, but still chaos when there are crowds on LaGuardia Place. Maybe it’ll taper off in the winter. Sure hope so.”

According to DŌ’s Web site, customers are limited to four items per person and are asked to line up at the northeast corner of LaGuardia and W. Third St., across the street from the shop. DŌ’s owner said they do this out of respect for neighboring business and residents. Also, the line is single file, so that pedestrians can still use the sidewalk.

“We have taken steps toward streamlining our line process, including adding staff dedicated to line management, and we have staff managing sidewalk trash multiple times a day,” Kristin Tomlan, DŌ’s founder, said in an e-mail.

But Jay said the “monitors” the store employs are “kids wearing earphones” that stare at their phones and do not pay attention to the crowd that is illegally blocking the street.

However, Tomlan assured, “We are in close communication with city officials and are working with them to find more ways to be good neighbors to the residents and fellow small business owners in the area.”

Jay told The Villager he has contacted Community Board 2 and Sixth Precinct police but nothing has been done to curb the cookie dough shop’s lines.

“I have also spoken to the store and suggested they install barriers or hire cognizant security people, but nothing,” Jay said.

Robert Jackson, a Sixth Precinct community affairs officer, said DŌ hasn’t been doing anything wrong, and is simply a victim of its own success.

The store also worked with the Department of Sanitation to add an additional trash can on LaGuardia Place through the Adopt-a-Basket program since the trash overflow is a direct result of the long lines. Through the program, the store is given trash bags and regularly tends the can.