In a symbolic close, the original West Hollywood Pinkberry store that kicked off the national froyo craze -- and came to be affectionately known as "Crackberry" -- stopped swirling last week. The location will be transformed into a "Pinkberry Support Center" for the brand.
The original Pinkberry store, located on Huntley Dr. and Santa Monica Blvd., not only famously proved how far one will go for a cup of froyo, but also had West Hollywood in a frenzy over the traffic the small store was bringing into the neighborhood.
Although Pinkberry reps cite the notorious scarcity of parking spaces and the volume of close by locations as reasons for the original location closing its doors, the momentous close may be suggestive of a bigger trend.
Froyo madness isn't what it used to be during its golden age. Just three years ago, Pinkberrys popped up exponentially making many wonder if the frozen yogurt chain would be the new Starbucks. And for a time, the number of clones had many froyo eaters collectively nodding their heads. In the past two years, the unruly growth in popularity of tangy frozen yogurt has been crashing. Whether it be an over-saturated market, the economy or the novelty wearing off - its clear frozen yogurt doesn't draw the masses it once did.
Catapulted to rock star status since its first location opening five years ago, Pinkberry stores have gradually been replaced and hurt by self-serve competitors that offer greater variety, cheaper selections and more consumer control.
For those in the area who will miss the original West Hollywood location, the nearby locations continue to swirl for those Pinkberry devotees still left standing:
Pinkberry: Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Blvd. 751-A, Los Angeles, (310) 855 - 0273; Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St, Los Angeles, (323) 933-2516; 7123 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, (323) 935-2958; 7288 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, (323) 969-0092