Another local blog reported in August that L.A.-based Pinkberry would open in Atlantic Station, I have now confirmed that is not the case. Instead of national chain Pinkberry, Atlantic Station has a lease in place for Atlanta-based Yogli Mogli to open in the former Cold Stone Creamery on 19th street across from City Sports.
In a six month progress report published in August, Atlantic Station states they "selected Pinkberry from numerous yogurt options via social media." Why now the change of heart? According to Mark Toro, managing partner at North American Properties the change was to bring another local option to Atlantic Station rather than yet another national chain. Cincinnati based North American Properties purchased the troubled Town Center at Atlantic Station from AIG last August and in the time since, Toro has spent much of his time weeding out less than ideal or non performing tenants and promising more local options. It's curious, though, that he would involve social media in the selection process, a platform he claims has led to their renaissance, announce Pinkberry, but then go the local route.
My belief is that Pinkberry is not doing well locally, and that they backed out, and that Yogli Mogli was selected from among local yogurt shops. Pinkberry is one of the most well known frozen yogurt shops, but remains fairly generic and stale in their offerings. Frozen yogurt shops like Yoforia and Yogurtland offer as many as sixteen flavors, sold on a per ounce basis. Most Pinkberrys only offer four flavors (that change periodically) and sell their yogurt by size, making their yogurt in most cases more expensive than other options. The fact that they offer so few flavors is also a disadvantage. It's almost like they are a normal soda fountain and that others, like Yogli Mogli, are the Coca-Cola Freestyle, with something for everyone. Additionally, I see Pinkberry as a more expensive brand and experience and perhaps it just doesn't fit the demo of Atlantic Station with such stores as Old Navy and Gap.
Pinkberry has three locations in the metro area, one in Buckhead, one at Akers Mill near Cumberland and one at Merchants Walk in East Cobb. Additionally, there is a fourth location on the campus of Valdosta State. Yogli Mogli started with one location at the corner of Abernathy and Roswell Road in 2009 and has now grown to sixteen, with a half dozen more in Georgia coming soon. Additionally, their first out of state location opened in Wheaton, Illinois earlier this year.
Given the change in direction, I'm told the switch to Yogli Mogli is a fairly a recent development, and that as a result, they will not open until March. I doubt that they have a ton of work to do, after all, they are just converting from ice cream to yogurt, but opening towards the end of the first quarter of next year will hopefully provide a better kick-off with warmer months ahead.
Are you an Atlantic Station resident and happy with the changes Toro and his team have made? Would you have preferred Pinkberry to Yogli Mogli? Do you remain hesitant to visit Atlantic Station? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.