Court Street will get a brain freeze in the next few weeks when three different upscale frozen yogurt shops open within four blocks of each other.
Yogo Monster, at 115 Court St., opposite the UA cinema, opened last weekend, while Red Mango at 125 Court St. and Yofiore at 32 Court St. will open in September.
All of the locations are between Remsen Street and Atlantic Avenue in Downtown, making Court Street the new Curd Street.
And observers say there might just be enough business from office workers in Downtown, residents of Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill and the new wave of tourists to keep this tangy yogurt cup running over.
“You put all these dynamic forces together and it’s why Court Street would be a dynamic place to put a food store, particularly an innovative food store that people would come out of their way to go to,” said real estate broker Tim King of CPEX Realty.
Though the yogurt war has opened a new front on Court Street, the battle began on the hard streets of South Korea six years ago, when Red Mango opened its first location.
Korean New Yorker Solomon Hwang discovered the joys of frozen cultured milk during a trip back to his ancestral home — and came back with a dream: Yogo Monster.
He opened his first Brooklyn location in Park Slope in March — where he’s faced similarly intense competition (though not on the same street).
But the three owners on Court Street each said they didn’t know there would be so much competition so soon.
“It was total coincidence,” said Red Mango’s franchise owner, Hannah Han. “We realize there’s competition and it cuts into our profits, but we’re going to have to share.”
Of course, Han said her frozen yogurt is the best because it’s creamier and smoother. Then again, she only offers two flavors: plain and green tea.
Hwang said he only found out about Red Mango after he started construction, and has some reservations about the influx.
“I’m definitely worried about the competition,” Hwang said. But Yogo Monster will also offer coffee, light snacks, and will rotate its flavors.
Meanwhile, Yofiore’s franchise owner Anthony Shim said he knew about the impending competition, and still decided to take the space.
“It’s like we’re selling almost the same product,” Shim said. “But I am very excited.”
Shim said his exotic flavors — pomegranate, green tea, coffee, blueberry, and others — would attract customers.
For potential customers walking around Court Street one hot afternoon, it’s a toss-up whether the strip needs all three.
“I think people come to Court Street from all directions, so all the stores might do alright,” said Kendell Evans of Harlem. “Maybe people will come from court and want a frozen yogurt.”
But Zach Jones, a law student from New Haven, disagreed.
“These places are a rip-off,” Jones said.