Pinkberry gives up Davis Square location, but an Asian restaurant plans to replace it

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The short-lived Pinkberry at 263 Elm St. is being replaced by a hot pot and sushi restaurant, according to a sign posted in its window in early January. (Photo: Marc Levy)
The short-lived Pinkberry at 263 Elm St. is being replaced by a hot pot and sushi restaurant, according to a sign posted in its window in early January. (Photo: Marc Levy)

With Somerville’s Pinkberry store closed for good, Davis Square has lost its third frozen yogurt shop (two remain, with one less than a block away) and can look forward to its second upcoming Asian restaurant opening.

While a Korean restaurant called Meju is replacing a long-empty McDonald’s at 243 Elm St., a sign announcing a hot pot and sushi restaurant has appeared in the window of a Pinkberry just a few storefronts away at 263 Elm St.

The frozen yogurt chain location closed in late July or early August with the intense rains and flooding that hurt a few other area businesses – but an employee of the store said on an Internet message board in September that it “was flooded, but not by what you think.”

“A resident of the apartments upstairs flooded his restroom, causing our ceiling to collapse. The damage is extensive, and expensive. Franchise management estimates closure at least through the spring. All fixtures were removed to other stores for storage,” the worker said.

And, in a bit of prophecy: “Given that Davis is the lowest-performance store, I suspect that [the franchise owners] will use this as an opportunity to break the lease and close that store.”

A Pinkberry spokeswoman asked about a closing gave vague answers and dodged calls in September, but by the time the sign announcing the Asian food replacement was posted in early January, the frozen yogurt company no longer listed Davis Square as a location. (The Harvard Square location remains.) Trippe Lonian, of franchiser NE Frog Pond, also didn’t answer calls and messages in September.

The Davis Square location seemed like a bad idea from the start.

When Davis Square saw a proposal for a third dedicated frozen yogurt shop in November 2012, just after the nearby iYo Cafe and Orange Leaf locations had opened, Somerville’s Zoning Board of Appeals was skeptical and NE Frog Pond backed away – then changed its mind again, and in July 2013 began turning the former Massachusetts Insurance Agency into a frozen yogurt shop. It was in business for less than a year.

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