Columbia Pike is getting in on the frozen yogurt craze, with the opening of a Menchie’s (2405 Columbia Pike) in Penrose Square.
The shop opened on Friday (December 28) and features a wall of 16 self-serve frozen yogurt machines and dozens of toppings. Menchie’s tries to cater to people with food allergies, so there are dairy free and gluten free options, as well as extensive ingredient labels for each flavor. Menchie’s has its own organic dairy in California which supplies the products and provides some flavors not available anywhere else.
Franchise owner Robert Guinn said business has been steady since the opening and customers have been receptive to the frozen yogurt shop.
“We were looking for someplace we could fit in and growth with,” Guinn said. “The community is really strong and we’ve been really happy with the retail traffic coming by.”
The chain is recognized around the world partly due to its team of “Sweet Friends” such as Menchie, Mookie, Barry and Sprinkle. Guinn said kids can identify with the Sweet Friends according to their different personalities considering each character has different traits. Employees at the Columbia Pike location having been taking turns dressing up as Menchie to draw customers into the store.
“All of our team members thought they’d never want to be in a Menchie costume, and honestly all of them have been out there and loved it,” Guinn said.
This is the first Menchie’s location in Arlington. The shop plans to hold a grand opening starting next Saturday (January 12) which will run for a week. There will be a variety of events announced, including frozen yogurt and t-shirt giveaways.
FroZenYo was originally expected to open at 1735 N. Lynn Street, in the former “News and Necessities” space, this past summer. The froyo chain opened a location in Ballston in August, but the Rosslyn location has yet to materialize.
In a tweet this morning, the Rosslyn Business Improvement announced that FroZenYo is now expected to open at some point this spring.
FroZenYo lets customers pick any combination of yogurt flavors and toppings, as detailed in a press release earlier this year.
Fro.Zen.Yo’s frozen yogurt is low fat and low calorie. The Fro.Zen.Yo menu features 16 flavors of frozen yogurt and a variety of fresh fruit and candy toppings. Customers get to choose any combination of flavors and toppings. Fro.Zen.Yo offers free hot fudge and also offers Deer Park bottled water for $.29.
According to its website, national chain Zinga Frozen Yogurt plans to move into the vacant space at 2914 Sycamore Street, which used to house Garden City Florist.
Like many of the froyo stores popping up around the county, Zinga allows customers to serve themselves one of the three dozen rotating frozen yogurt flavors. There are more than 50 toppings to choose from, and the finished product is sold by weight.
Zinga sets itself apart from similar establishments with its freshly baked “bottomz” — such as waffle bowls, brownies and vanilla cake — which customers can use as a base on which to build their frozen creations.
So far there has not be an announcement about when construction will begin or when the store is expected to open.
FroZenYo opened last week in the old Smoothie King location at 850 N. Randolph Street, across the street from Ballston Common Mall. The store offers more than a dozen flavors of frozen yogurt and nearly three dozen toppings. Frozen yogurt flavors include original tart, vanilla, chocolate, cookies and cream, red velvet cake, cake batter, coffee, butter pecan, dulce de leche, mango, coconut, kiwi strawberry, and raspberry pomegranate tart.
The store is open from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10:00 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. We’re told the store is in the process of applying for an outdoor seating permit.
The store is owned by Kevin Grevey, Jr. and his father, retired NBA star Kevin Grevey. Grevey played for the Washington Bullets from 1975 to 1983 and helped the Bullets (now the Wizards) win their only NBA championship.
The junior Grevey tells ARLnow.com that he’s currently working on a lease for a FroZenYo store in Rosslyn. He’s also exploring the possibility of opening a store in Clarendon.
At least two other frozen yogurt shops are currently in the works in Arlington. A Menchie’s frozen yogurt store is under construction on Columbia Pike, in the Penrose Square development. A Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt store is under construction in the Arlington Ridge shopping center on S. Glebe Road.
Tutti Frutti franchise owner Geoff Trout is betting on it. He hopes to open shop on South Fern Street, next to the Post Office in the Millennium at Metropolitan Park apartments, in late August or early September.
The self-serve frozen yogurt trend hit Pentagon Row earlier this year when Yogiberry replaced Maggie Moo’s ice cream. The Tutti Frutti concept is similar — a rotating menu of flavors combined with 35 to 40 fruit and candy toppings.
“I feel very confident in the product,” Trout said. “I don’t think Pentagon Row is close enough. This is a company that has really taken off.”
The Los Angeles-based company claims it’s the largest self-serve frozen yogurt chain in the world, with 584 franchises.
According to a Facebook page, a Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt store is coming to the shopping center. Building permits were issued late last month (May) for the store, located at 2439 N. Harrison Street. Tutti Frutti will replace the former Serendipity store, which sold home furnishings, decorations and gifts.
No word yet on when Tutti Frutti will open, but the Facebook page lists the store’s hours (once it does open) as 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
With 580 locations in 23 countries, Tutti Frutti says it’s “the largest self-serve frozen yogurt brand in the world.” The franchise has a roster of more than 50 flavors of frozen yogurt, along with numerous fruit, candy and other toppings.
Recently the company introduced soy frozen yogurt, a fat-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly alternative to traditional frozen yogurt.
Hat tip to Along the Pike
Bike Meeting to Discuss Bollards — The Arlington County Bicycle Advisory Committee will discuss bollard installations and removals at its meeting tonight, June 4. The meeting is being held at 2100 Clarendon Blvd at 7:00 p.m. Bollards are posts put at the entrance to a trail to keep cars out; some believe they are a safety hazard to cyclists. [CommuterPage Blog]
A-Frame Sign Rules Enforced — Even though A-frame (sandwich board) signs are now allowed in Arlington, county zoning officials are beginning to enforce the the rules related to A-frame sign placement and size. [Arlington Mercury]
Froyo Store Coming to the Pike — Menchies Frozen Yogurt has signed a lease for a store at Penrose Square, along the 2500 block of Columbia Pike. The self-serve frozen yogurt chain currently has 185 locations worldwide. [CityBiz Real Estate]
Flickr pool photo by Divaknevil
On Tuesday, we told you that Rosslyn is going to be getting a Fro.Zen.Yo store. Now, we can tell you that Ballston will be getting one as well.
A spokesperson for the frozen yogurt chain confirms that the long rumored Ballston location is going to become a reality. It will move into the old Smoothie King space at 850 N. Randolph Street, across from the Ballston mall.
This location will be owned by former Washington Bullets champion Kevin Grevey. One year ago this month, Grevey became the the very first Fro.Zen.Yo franchisee.
The Ballston location is expected to open sometime in June.
(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) A new frozen yogurt establishment is making its way into Rosslyn. A Fro.Zen.Yo location will be going in on the 1700 block of N. Lynn Street, in the former “News and Necessities” space, according to the company.
There are two partners for the new Rosslyn franchise, and they think the idea of self service frozen yogurt is “perfect” for the busy location, according to a press release.
Fro.Zen.Yo has eight locations throughout the metro area, with Crystal City being the only one in Arlington so far. Last year, plans were announced for trying to build one in Ballston as well, but so far there’s no word on when that will be coming to fruition. We’re told 15 more franchises are on the way, but locations haven’t been announced.
The company says it offers a “healthy” product that “everyone can enjoy.”
“Fro.Zen.Yo’s frozen yogurt is low fat and low calorie,” according to the press release. “The Fro.Zen.Yo menu features 16 flavors of frozen yogurt and a variety of fresh fruit and candy toppings. Customers get to choose any combination of flavors and toppings.”
The Rosslyn location is expected to open by the beginning of the summer.
According to the center’s website, Starbucks will be coming to a 1,650 square foot space next to the Domino’s Pizza restaurant. It’s expected to have an occupant capacity of around 90 people, according to permit applications. The coffee shop is probably at least a couple of months away from opening, since a building permit has yet to be issued.
Also coming to the shopping center is Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt. A froyo shop founded with Christian principles — Frog stands for “Fully Rely on God” — the store will offer all-natural, self-serve frozen yogurt with a variety of flavors and toppings. The store will be about 1,000 square feet and will be located next to Cafe Caturra.
The location is listed simply as “coming soon” on the Sweet Frog website.
A Yogiberry frozen yogurt store will be replacing the shuttered Maggie Moo’s ice cream shop at Pentagon Row.
“Coming soon” signs are up in the windows of the store. Interior construction is either underway or imminent, as workers could be seen entering the store today.
The change from ice cream to frozen yogurt is a bit of deja vu — in 2010 a Yogiberry location opened in Shirlington Village, in another shuttered Maggie Moo’s storefront. Shirlington Village and Pentagon Row are both owned by Federal Realty Investment Trust.
It looks like Rosslyn is going to be getting a new frozen yogurt restaurant next to the former Ray’s Hell Burger Too.
A sign in the window of the shuttered Santis Shipping store (1715 Wilson Blvd) in the Colonial Village Shopping Center indicates that a IceBerry froyo store is “coming soon.” So far, there’s no indication that any building permits have been issued.
IceBerry, a small D.C.-based frozen yogurt chain, serves nonfat frozen yogurt — with a variety of fresh toppings — and fruit smoothies. IceBerry has existing stores in Reston, Chantilly, and Springfield, according to its website.
Pinkberry Opens in Clarendon — The new Pinkberry frozen yogurt store in Clarendon officially opens its doors at 11:00 this morning. Yesterday evening, people queued up around the block as the store gave away free frozen yogurt to anyone willing to wait in line. The giveaway didn’t seem to be hurting Red Mango, Pinkberry’s froyo rival. One block away, Red Mango was still doing brisk business as the Pinkberry line grew.
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Rustico Plans ‘Family Table’ Sunday Suppers — Rustico restaurant in Ballston (4075 Wilson Blvd) is planning a weekly family-style supper, inspired by Executive Chef Steve Mannino’s Italian-American upbringing. The ‘Family Table’ meals will start this Sunday and continue every Sunday from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. Each week will feature a different Italian main course from Mannino’s collection of family recipes. The meal is $20 for adults and $10 for kids, including bruschetta and salad to start and biscotti for dessert.
Pinkberry will open its doors from 6:00 to 8:00 tonight to offer free frozen yogurt samples. Among the expected flavors are sweet and tangy Original, Chocolate, Mango, Pomegranate, Watermelon, and Salted Caramel.
The store will have its first full day tomorrow, with doors expected to open at 11:00 a.m. and close at 1:00 a.m.
The new Pinkberry frozen yogurt store in Clarendon (pictured) is planning a post-work froyo giveaway on Thursday, one day before its planned opening.
Pinkberry will give out free samples from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday. The store then plans to open to the public at 11:00 a.m. on Friday. Offerings include 6 different flavors of frozen yogurt and numerous toppings.
The Clarendon Pinkberry will be the California-based chain’s third D.C.-area location.