INWOOD — Bread and Yoga is back.
Almost two years after a fire destroyed its home and four months after it announced it had found a suitable location in Inwood, the beloved neighborhood yoga studio and cooking class space is unveiling its new home and welcoming students.
Though the electrical wiring isn't finished yet and kitchen appliances are still on the way, Bread and Yoga held its first yoga class at its new 5000 Broadway location on Saturday, opening its doors to 15 yogis.
Bread and Yoga was one of several Inwood small businesses affected by a 207th Street commercial building fire in January 2012. After the blaze, the studio moved to the nearby Holy Trinity Church and owner Marcela Xavier spent the next 18 months searching for a new home.
"It's been such a long transition time. Now we feel like we can breathe and focus on the real stuff — the things we want to do," she said, adding that the studio would have a soft-opening on Thursday before offering a full schedule of classes over the weekend.
The new, 14,000-square-foot space is a partnership between Xavier and Scribble Art Workshop owner Sasha Schwartz. It is divided into four main sections: a lobby with art and yoga retail items, a studio with a new "yoga wall" full of handles used to aid stretching, an art workshop and a kitchen for cooking classes.
The kitchen will also be home to Bread and Yoga's new co-working program, which will allow area telecommuters to work in a communal space. While details on the program have not yet been finalized, Xavier said use would be available on a per-visit basis or through a monthly subscription.
"We're trying to organize a space that will feel like a welcoming working space — a creative environment for work," Xavier said. "It's about establishing a community of workers where people can actually help each other out."
Bread and Yoga staff have been busy with renovations since the lease was signed in July, Xavier said. The space, the former home of the Manhattan Times newspaper, was previously divided into seven offices, and Xavier said a near-complete demolition was required.
The efforts yielded several features that gave the studio a unique charm, like dumbwaiters that were repurposed as supply cabinets and a stainless steel table Xavier said was previously used in a morgue.
The renovations were made possible by an Indiegogo campaign that raised more than $32,000 for the studio, as well as volunteers who helped paint the walls and move items from the church. Xavier and studio manager Meghan Lastra said they were excited to thank the community for their help.
"The one thing that I'm looking forward to the most is being here to see people walk in and shake their hands and give them a hug," Xavier said. "It will be so nice to welcome them to the space and see people that we haven't seen in a while."