When 16 Handles opened in the East Village in 2008, it appeared indistinguishable from the glut of frozen yogurt shops that at the time were colonizing storefronts across the city. But now it appears that the store’s name, so oddly evocative of adipose tissue, will soon be familiar in states up and down the East Coast.
As The Feast reports, the store’s owner, Solomon Choi, is developing a national franchise, with locations already open in New Jersey and Maryland. Additional outposts are planned for Connecticut, Louisiana, Florida, and Port Washington, New York. Manhattan is also getting a second outpost next month, this one on the Upper West Side.
It’s entirely possible that cultural historians of the future will look back and recognize this as the moment when the city lost what remained of its edge. We used to be able to make fun of California for its cultlike love of frozen dairy smothered in chocolate chips and kiwi slices. Now, we must own up to the fact that the East Village’s best-known export will be flavors like Eurotart and Mango Tango.
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