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NBCWashington broke the news yesterday with prose that bordered on the orgasmic: Pinkberry is coming to D.C.! (I’m not sure how many exclamation points to include here, but the general tone of the item merits at least four, I think.) Now understand, the item names no location, not even a neighborhood. Just the promise of a Pinkberry, the chain that launched a thousand fro-yo imitators after just five short years in business.
You’ll have to excuse me if I yawn as this dustbunny of a breaking news item drifts by. Allow me to provide you with five reasons I couldn’t care less about Pinkberry’s arrival in the District:
1. The Chain That Yanked Our Chain. Two years ago, Pinkberry’s real estate coordinator, Lucas Junkin, yanked our chain about the possibility of the fro-yo chain entering the D.C. market. “D.C.’s a priority, compared with our other upcoming locations,” Junkin bullshitted Express Night Out. “It’s not going to be long before it opens.” Months later, the Washington Business Journal revealed what kind of wusses these Pinkberry executives are.
2. The Yogurt That Wasn’t. For years, it wasn’t even clear if Pinkberry’s product could technically be calledfrozen yogurt. People sued over whether this “Swirly Goodness” was actually yogurt or even all natural and non-fat. The state of California apparently deemed it something other than yogurt, which caused the Pinkberry folks to go all Swirly Crazy and perhaps even to scuttle plans to open a store in D.C. because they needed to learn how to, you know, make real yogurt.
3. The Name that Shall Not Be Spoken. Pinkberry calls its product “Swirly Goodness” and “Chilly Bliss.” If I already refuse to call a “medium” coffee at Starbucks a “grande,” I’m definitely not using these terms.
4. The Fro-yo Ov-yo-load. Mr. Yogato. TangySweet. Sweetgreen. FroZenYo. Yogen Fruz. Yogiberry. Caliyogurt. Serve-yourself yogurt shops. Environmental yogurt shops. Sustainable yogurt shops. Locally sourced yogurt shops. Yogurt shops on wheels. Like liquor licenses in Dupont Circle, I think it’s time the city put a moratorium on yogurt shops.
5. We Don’t Need Your Stinking West Coast Validation. There may have been a day when your laid-back, daze-on-the-beach El Lay vibe would have appealed to us overworked wonks with our never-ending search for power, but these days, you’re more Lindsay Lohan than Lady Gaga. Your time is so over. Besides, look around us. We’ve got Eric Ripert here. BLT Steak. Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Alain Ducasse. And Danny Meyer is headed our way. We’re obviously New York’s bitch. Not yours.
You want another perspective on this? I asked online producer Emily Kaiser for one. She’s actually tasted your product. Her take:
Pinkberry is often referenced as the store to launch the upscale frozen yogurt trend into the American mainstream, with people waiting in lines 20-30 deep just for a taste of what soon became known as “crackberry”. Once celebs like Paris Hilton started flocking to the stores for their tart fro-yo topped with fruit, candy and nuts, the stores became a must-visit in LA and NYC. Just like the D.C. cupcake mania, it wins fans by taking a previously boring and simple dessert, turning it fancy, and charging a lot of money for it.
There is something crack-like about Pinkberry, but it’s not worth standing in long lines for. The original flavor is still a must-try for fro-yo fans and the consistency is spot on. During a visit to one of their LA locations last year, their brand still stood up as one of the better fro-yo options around. Pinkberry may have started the craze, but it’s not hard to replicate. Unfortunately Pinkberry is hitting D.C. three years too late. Give it a try, but we wouldn’t plan to ditch the local brands just yet.
Photo by VirtualErn via Flickr Creative Commons, Attribution License