Pinkberry, the West Coast frozen yogurt chain, is opening its first NOLA location next week (5601 Magazine St, across from Whole Foods @ Arabella Station). Known for cultlike devotion among its fans, Pinkberry offers a fat-free “original” flavor clocked at 100 calories per half-cup, seasonal specialty flavors (think coconut and passionfruit), and a range of free, fresh-fruit toppings. The brand’s runaway popularity since its 2005 debut has inspired loads of imitators like Menchies (available in Baton Rouge at the Mall of Louisiana), Red Mango, and YogurtLand.
So why would I care about an L.A.-based chain of fro-yo coming to New Orleans? In a crummy economy, I’m cheered by the sight of a new food business opening. It’s within easy distance of my office, and I happen to like frozen yogurt. I’m old enough to remember the first big frozen yogurt craze back in the 80s, when Zack’s Famous Frozen Yogurt and TCBY franchises popped up on every other corner. Plus, it’s situated on my favorite stretch of Magazine Street, adding to the density of tasty shops (the aforementioned Whole Foods, Chez Nous Charcuterie, Vom Fass, Italian Pie, Slice pizzeria, Blue Frog Chocolates, Bee Sweet Cupcakes, CC’s and PJs coffee shops, and St. Joe’s bar). What’s not to like?