Meltdown at Yolato’s Greenwich Village LocationJust a couple weeks after a press release bragged that Yolato was planning to overtake Pinkberry and Red Mango by installing express locations all around town, the Greenwich Village store is apparently kaput.
Punk’d by PinkberryAs Pinkberry confessed to its ingredients, New Yorkers justified their fro-yo addiction.
Red Mango to Open December 6 With a Veritable ‘Free-Fro-All’Official word has come that Red Mango’s first NYC location at 182 Bleecker — long a source of fascination — will open at 4 p.m. on December 6 with “FREE FROZEN YOGURT, GIFT CARDS, GIFT BAGS, MUSIC PRIZES” (emphasis theirs). Obviously they’re trying to trump Yolato which promised free fro-yo at their recent opening only to dole out sample sizes. So will Red Mango be fudging it, too? The publicist assures us “free frozen yogurt” means an honest-to-God half-cup (small-size) serving. We have this on tape (kidding). Gifts, meanwhile, will go to the first 50 people in line and will also be given to people throughout the day, especially people who can answer trivia questions like, “How many calories are in Red Mango?” That we’re not kidding about — so study up!
Earlier: Cold War: Yolato Now, Red Mango in December, and MySpace Forever
Cold War: Yolato Now, Red Mango in December, and MySpace Forever
When we mentioned that a new Yolato store is opening today, we wondered when exactly the Red Mango would open across from Pinkberry on Bleecker Street. Now a rep tells us it probably won’t be till mid-December, with stores to follow in Chelsea (63 W. 14th St.), the theater district (723 Eighth Ave.) and Flushing (136-53 Roosevelt Ave).
[Ed: Disclaimer — what follows is where we start to lose it a little bit.]
Yolato Founder Donald Park Doesn’t Sweat PinkberryYesterday we reported that Yolato is poised to infiltrate the Empire State Building and other strategic locations around the city. Now none other than founder Donald Park tells us that he’s aiming for a minimum of fifteen to twenty outlets in the next year, including at least one Downtown Brooklyn outlet. The outer boroughs, people! The guy means business! What’s more, he’s planning to announce “a very large deal with a very large company” in the next few weeks. You know what that means — Yolato is going national.
Cold War Continues: Bigger, Badder Yolato Opens WednesdayOn guard: On Wednesday a 50 percent larger Yolato (the first one under a partnership with Lenny’s Sandwiches) opens at 145 Park Avenue between 41st and 42nd with free fro-yo gelato for all. You might want to make note of that. And the invasion will continue! By the end of the year, freestanding stores will also come to the Empire State Building (which will serve as the flagship, opening in mid-December) and 180 Lafayette in Soho, plus there are plans for a large store in the Lenny’s at 9th Street and Sixth Avenue and nine other “express” stores in other Lenny’s locations. That’s THIRTEEN Yolatos for you; hope it’s enough.
Meanwhile, on the Bleecker Street front, Red Mango still has not opened, giving the new Pinkberry a solid two-month head start. Ritual suicide may be in order.
Related: The New Cold War: Frozen Yogurt Invades New York
Citywide Truffle Shortage; A New Eastside Fro-Yo FoeA citywide truffle shortage can explain why “the Waverly Inn jacked up the price of its infamous truffle-topped mac & cheese from $55 to $85. The dish was an amusing punch line at $55; at $85, it’s just obscene.” [NYP]
Related: Le Cirque Bids High for Monster Truffle
Bruni eschews all the courtesies one suffers at the dinner table, which he refers to as restaurantspeak: “Would I ‘enjoy coffee with dessert?’ I don’t know; it depends how good the coffee is. I’ll have some, yes, then we’ll see.” [NYT]
FR.OG has now lost Jean Georges alum chef Didier Virot to the Plaza’s new restaurant-to-be, the Palm Court, set to open later this year. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Pinkberry Domination Continues Apace; Chumley’s in Trouble AgainPinkberry’s quest for world domination becomes more tangible: Its founders have raised $27.5 million in the company’s first round of venture capital. [NYT]
Related: The New Cold War: The Battle for Bleecker Street
Hear the Pinkberry Jingle, Attempt to Get it Out of Your Head
Chumley’s prospective opening date of October 1 has come and gone, possibly because of certain “surprises” the engineers have found, including asbestos and an eroding foundation. [NYP]
Return of Dévi; It’s the Year of the DeliAfter all the hullabaloo over Dévi’s closing, its chefs, Suvir Saran and Hemant Mathur, have purchased the spot and will reopen it next month. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Related: Debriefing Dévi: Suvir Saran’s Suspected Side Projects
Yolato takes a swing at the fro-yo competition by opening three Manhattan shops this week. [NYS]
Related: The New Cold War: Frozen Yogurt Invades New York
Del Posto’s Nicole Kaplan says it straight: “I don’t really like innovations.” [amNY
The New Cold War: Fro-Yo Standoff in FlushingThe Frozen-Yogurt Wars have intensified in Flushing. We spotted two new stores going up a mere 85 feet from each other on Roosevelt Avenue. Does Pinkberry have the advantage, being so close to the heavily trafficked Main Street stop on the 7 train? Or will the discriminating dessert aficionado bypass the throngs (by walking about 40 steps) to Red Mango? Too soon to tell, but we fear New York’s post-apocalyptic future where the only structures standing are bank branches and frozen-yogurt stores. Oh, and the Arepa Lady. —Aileen Gallagher
Earlier: Our coverage of the frozen-yogurt invasion
Frozen-Yogurt Wars: We Have Not Yet Begun to Flurt
Last week, Grub Street compiled a comparison chart of different frozen yogurts (and one gelato) found in New York City. We asked readers for thoughts and you responded with frozen gusto. The most popular response was “You missed Flurt!” Indeed we did; the chain (now with two locations) opened in July. So here’s what you need to know:
Country of Origin: New York City
Social Aesthetic: Tundralike minimalism.
Product Pitch: We’re cheaper than Pinkberry!
NYC Locations: Two: Gramercy and Battery Park City.
Critical Reception: Unofficial just yet, but commenters on Chowhound offered a “better than Pinkberry” consensus. One reader concurred: “Flurt is a takeoff of Pinkberry, but the yogurt has much better texture. Plus, they offer smoothies and Greek yogurt parfait.”
The New Cold War: Frozen Yogurt Invades New York
Now that Red Mango — the first big Korean fro-yo chain, and thus the progenitor of the new wave started by Pinkberry, which hails from LA — is coming to New York, it’s time to take stock of the ever-growing number of frosty options. Since Pinkberry first opened its doors here last year, the dessert has descended across the city like a cold curtain. It was only in June that Rob and Robin shortlisted the new frozen-yogurt options, and since then /eks/ and, soon, Red Mango have been added. How to separate the Pinkberrys from the Yolato from the gelatos? We had to make up a chart to parse it all (full disclosure: We cheated a little by including Grom, which isn’t strictly fro-yo — but it is an excellent new gelato spot). After the jump, our guide to the new yogurt culture. What’s your favorite? Email us and we’ll print the results.
Rayuela Brings More Brunch to the LESDumbo/Fulton Ferry: Friday night at Rebar promises “free partial-nude drawing.” [Dumbo NYC]
East Village: Simone on First Avenue is closed, but let’s pray not for good. [Down by the Hipster]
Lower East Side: Rayuela has launched a weekend brunch with arepas and poached eggs, churros and Mayan chocolate, and guanabana mimosas plus live salsa music Sundays. [Grub Street]
Midtown West: Just when you thought he’d had enough of the limelight, Rocco DiSpirito will be the guest chef tomorrow at the Condé Nast cafeteria. [Eater]
Times Square: Ruby Tuesday will sidle up next to Red Lobster but may fare better with New York diners thanks to “fully upholstered chairs.” [Lost City]
Williamsburg: New fro-yo destination /eks/ whips up fresh organic yogurt and incorporates recycling holes into its cartoon-covered walls. [Gridskipper]