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Mountain: Crown Heights’ amazing new wellness hub


mountain_apothecary_kitchen
Mountain’s Apothecary Kitchen. (Photo: Mountain; top right, Melisse Gelula for Well+Good)

Healthy eats in the front, wellness party in the back. (And by “party,” I mean a chill-out immersion space.)

That’s Mountain in Crown Heights. It’s a brilliant Brooklyn wellness concept that you’d want in your neighborhood—part healthy cafe, part acupuncture-bodywork clinic, part yoga studio—with an art gallery wrapping.

Opened this September by acupuncturists Justine Lynch and husband Tom McCauley, who’s also the former chef-owner of the ‘90s healthy hotspot Miracle Grill, the duo’s added healthy vibes to an otherwise bodega-filled stretch of Franklin Avenue. “Tom and I wanted to ‘bring the mountain to Brooklyn.’ Instead of searching outside of New York for peace and balance, we hoped to root our lives and practices here,” she says, adding that the mountain is an ancient symbol of retreat, stability, and nature.

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Justine Lynch and Tom McCauley (Photo: Ingalls Photography)

Their hybrid space has understated polish—Susan Barber, a designer for Opening Ceremony, and Johanna Burke, who works with Bergdorf Goodman, consulted on the branding and interior design, respectively. In the Apothecary Kitchen, there’s a chalkboard and mirror with a hand-written menu by Lauren Hom, a communal table with sweet mismatched dishes and flowers or branches in vases—and a fridge displaying very tantalizing items that hover at or just below the $10 mark.

Typically there’s a seasonal veggie Ayurvedic curry (amazing), sourdough sandwiches, a whole pasture-raised chicken, a gluten-free white lasagna—alongside vegan and bone broths, Sightglass coffee, cold-pressed juices, and healthy tonics.

“We’re just four blocks from where all the stuff is in Crown Heights,” says Lynch, who wanted to bring her cool 360-healing ethos to this side of Prospect Park. “There is a need for our work here,” she says. (It’s also worth the detour.)

A beaded curtain in the cafe leads to the wellness wing where there are rooms for yoga, nutritional counseling and bodywork, and acupuncture with Lynch, whose Five Point style can feel more like energy work with needles than TCM.

“The layout is something we’ve seen done in other places of the world, with one business up front and another in the back,” explains Lynch, whose clear, meditator eyes will make you feel like a stress case (or maybe that’s me) and inspire you to hang out for a while.

Mountain wellness yoga in Crown Heights
The yoga studio, also used for community acupuncture, $35, on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. (Photo: Mountain)

And Lynch is the kind of practictioner you wish someone in-the-know had referred you to. Smart, cool (we bonded over ‘80s new wave that she played during our session), and really intuitive. “I could treat you for what I see on your chart here,” she said after reading my intake form. “But I’m called to focus on this other thing first that I think we have to deal with.” Not to get all TMI, but I’d given her tangible issues for the sake of reporting this article, and she’d zeroed in on the real stuff behind it. Her work is the real deal.

As I was leaving, a woman was waiting for her appointment, a couple people were grabbing takeout, and another person was leaving the yoga room, where classes are still small. I could see that changing. There are places in New York where something really special transpires, and this is one of them. —Melisse Gelula

Mountain Apothecary Kitchen & Wellness, 903 Franklin Ave., Crown Heights, Brooklyn, www.ilovemountain.net