Barre3 creator Sadie Lincoln has had her eye on New York City for years (ever since a famous client started flying her in for private training in 2010). And after lots of one-off events and even studios opening in nearby New Jersey that teased Manhattanities who’ve been smitten with the workout for years, the Portland-based brand, which now has more than 70 locations, has finally arrived in the Big Apple.
Its bright-and-sunny new home in the West Village officially opened on Monday, August 25, and it brings a refreshing, laid-back workout vibe to the city’s workout scene. We stopped by for a tour and some toning to bring you this first look inside—and the scoop on what to expect.
The space: Barre3 feels more like a neighborhood yoga studio than a corporate barre franchise. Its corner space on the second floor overlooks Sixth Avenue and West 8th Street. With two walls of huge windows, you can people-watch while you pulse and soak up a little vitamin D, too. Another wall is covered with requisite mirrors for form-checking, and the floor is made of cushion-y cork, which feels great on your soles. (Barre3 is done barefoot, by the way, so no buying an emergency $11 pair of grippy socks when you’ve left them at home.)
In addition to the workout area, there’s a small check-in area, two changing rooms (stocked with natural face wipes and dry shampoo), and one bathroom. Lockers are built into a pretty wood bench, with keys provided, and the same wood is used as accents throughout the space.
And amenity convenience alert: Liquiteria is also set to open directly below the studio soon, in the old Gray’s Papaya space, for post-workout smoothies.
The workout: Star instructor Meegan Gregg moved from Portland to run the studio. We took class with her assistant manager Lauren Marple (who also moved, from D.C.), and it was a sweaty 60-minute session that flew by.
You’ll notice the yoga influence in class (Lincoln was a yogi before she created Barre3 in 2008) in the many variations of chaturanga push-ups you’ll do at the barre and there’s more dynamic movement than in other barre styles. So, instead of just tiny pulses, you’ll do isometric holds, followed by one-inch pulses, followed by movements that use a much bigger range of motion (and somehow have a cool factor). Expect lots of emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings, and on dealing with your laptop slump. Somehow, the moves also make you feel cool while you do them.
The idea here is that you can work out for reasons like finding balance and getting fit without killing yourself in the process or wringing out every bit of sweat. Sounds like something Type A New Yorkers could really use. —Lisa Elaine Held
$30 per class (3 for $50 for new clients), 63 W. 8th St., at Sixth Ave., West Village, www.barre3.com