Thursday, July 18, 2024

A BerryLine worker prepares a dessert at a now closed 1668 Massachusetts Ave., Neighborhood 9, location in the summer of 2019. (Photo: Beth Y. via Yelp)

Maybe frozen yogurt is just not meant for a starring role. A BerryLine has closed near Porter Square, leaving just one business in Cambridge or Somerville devoted to it – another BerryLine in Harvard Square. (Despite its name, the well regarded Yotopia is as much a boba tea seller and snack shop as it is a yogurt business.)

That remaining BerryLine at 3 Arrow St. closes after this weekend to reopen in 2022 with “a new look,” according to the company’s social media. “Upgrades and renovations aimed at streamlining operations … will allow us to continue providing our amazing homemade toppings,” the company said, and “continue to offer the best dang froyo anywhere.” During the pandemic, signs would be posted occasionally announcing late openings – via a laminated sign – because of staff shortages. The same sign invited job seekers to apply for hourly pay of up to $20 after tips.

“We felt it was time to consolidate our BerryLine efforts at our Harvard Square location,” the company said online.

BerryLine was founded in 2007 by Matthew Wallace and Pok “Eric” Yang, postdocs and friends at MIT and Harvard, and was well established at both locations by the time a wave of competitors arrived around 2013, making it one three froyo joints in Harvard Square – not far from another three in Somerville’s Davis Square. An earlier frozen yogurt trend arrived, and ebbed, in the 1980s.

The first-ever frozen yogurt was served Feb. 3, 1971, at The Spa in Harvard Square – according to The Spa, though The New York Times believed the claim. The Zero Arrow St. business, just across the street from where BerryLine would open, closed over a lease disagreement in the fall of 1980.

The permanent closing of BerryLine at 1668 Massachusetts Ave., Neighborhood 9, was announced Dec. 7. The site opened in May 2009, filling a former KaBloom florist franchise.

Frozen Yogurt continues to be offered not just at Yotopia at 1815 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, but as part of ice cream shops such as Honeycomb Creamery, J.P. Licks and Lizzy’s.

Feature image from BerryLine via Facebook.