BUCKTOWN — A fast expanding fitness franchise that uses a ballet barre to help exercisers sculpt and tone their bodies is preparing to open its first Chicago outpost in a North Avenue storefront just east of the Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues intersection.
Pure Barre Bucktown at 1837 W. North Ave. hopes to welcome its first students by the end of the month, said manager Aleksa Narbutaitis, who has been posting updates to the studio's Facebook page.
"We've hired a great team of instructors and are still working on the hours, but we'll have lots of classes at all times of day," Narbutaitis said.
Narbutaitis said Pure Barre will offer nine or 10 classes daily. It will open early and stay open late so people can work out before and after work.
Classes, which have a maximum capacity of 25 students, can be bought on a drop-in basis, or through monthly and six month memberships.
In addition to classes, the storefront will have a retail shop where students can buy fitness wear, Narbutaitis said.
Founded in 2001, the Pure Barre franchise has 130 locations that are mostly individually owned and have "helped hundreds of women to become entrepreneurs through the company’s franchise program," spokeswoman Samantha Tannenbaum said.
Tannenbaum described Pure Barre as "a non-impact workout, which makes it effective and less intimidating for women of all shapes, sizes and ages, from young teens to women in their 70s."
The technique uses a ballet barre to perform movements that tone your body and burn fat, Tannenbaum said.
In addition to Bucktown, Pure Barre is planning to expand to River North, Lakeview and Old Town as well as the suburbs of Evanston, Naperville and Orland Park, according to its website.
Tannenbaum said Pure Barre is most popular in New York and Los Angeles. The franchise is owned by founder Carrie Rezabek Dorr whose since moved on from running a studio to serving as the chain's creative concept officer.
To stay updated on Pure Barre's progress in Bucktown, visit its Facebook page.