Young and Hungry

Five Reasons Y&H Doesn’t Give a Damn About Pinkberry’s Arrival in D.C.

pinkberry pic

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 called frozen 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

  • au contrarie


    Seeing a vacuum, the next would-be PinkBerry entrepreneurs jumped all over the DC market. I tried each version offered and only one got my attention more than once. I haven't been back to that one in over a year I'd guess.

    PinkBerry is an experience I long to revisit. The yogurt is incredibly light and refreshing. The fruit and vegetables offered as toppings are fresh, and seemingly never frozen. The crunchy toppings include the same chocolate b-bs that Michel Richard uses at Central on his desserts. They have a range of liquid toppings include caramel and a nutella type too..

    Once you've had Pinkberry there is no need, in my opinion, to revisit any of the DC wannabes.

  • Evan

    you should care, its better than all the other ones already in DC.

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  • Raisa Berriz

    Tim, one of their locations is at Fairfax Town Center, big sign has been up for a while now. Their yogurt is good, had it last month in LA, but it is the same as all the Korean mom and pops we have here in NoVa. My favorite is SweetBerry on Pickett Road.

  • ThomDC

    Been there, done that! Too little, too late! Tried to get Pinkberry interested in Logan 4 years ago, they could not have been more dismissive. Anyone looking for a good deal on a Hula Hoop?

    Speaking of Logan and DC being NYC's beatch (or not) there is a rumor afloat that Thomas Keller may be bringing "Per Se" to 14th Street? Any scoop?

  • Resident85

    Thanks for the good laugh today - #5 is my favorite.

  • b

    Pinkberry is good. For the health conscious consumer looking for the ocassional sweet treat it's pretty statisfying, especially on hot days. It's better than any of the existing knock-offs in DC. I've never waited more than 5 minutes at one of the scores of outlets littered around So Cal where it seems almost as prevalent as Starbucks.

  • Laura Masterson

    Wow... I'm not sure when being delicious was a crime but Pinkberry is by far the best tasting frozen yogurt out there, has super nice workers, and is always clean. I can't wait for it to come to DC!