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EaterWire: No Babycakes, New Chef at Nine Thirty, Prepare for Even More Pinkberry

MID-CITY/BEV CTR: A few tipsters noticed the Babycakes signage on the corner of Beverly and Spaulding is gone: "Babycakes, the vegan bakery from New York, had "coming soon" signage for months... And now the sign is gone and the space has a "for lease" sign on it. What happened to our vegan cupcake dreams???" We left messages for the powers that be in NYC, but our guess? The LA red tape scared owner Erin McKenna off. [EaterWire Inbox]

WESTWOOD: This has been trickling in since last month: Nine Thirty at the W Hotel has a new chef, Monique King, also co-owner (with her husband Paul) of Firefly Bistro in South Pasadena. We're not sure how King got involved with the sassy group behind restaurants like Tengu and Holly's West, but they always strived for a farm-to-table theme at Nine Thirty, and she's as good as any to pull it off. Does this mean she left Firefly? Not entirely. We heard she's just "spreading her wings." [EaterWire Inbox]

THE UNIVERSE: This hit us today: "I attended a party in LA over the weekend where someone mentioned..... Pinkberry is getting a gazillion dollar investment from venture capital firm Maveron, the one founded by Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz...." We've made jokes that Pinkberry is the Starbucks of frozen yogurt (or something like that), and we heard this one before, but maybe it's more official now. Will we start seeing venti Pinkberry green tea double shot non-fat Frappucinos in the future? [EaterWire Inbox]

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