A new sort of bar has arrived in Carytown.
Katie Gilstrap last month opened the Barre Boutique, an exercise studio that uses ballet techniques to get its participants pumped up.
Gilstrap, 34, leased a 750-square-foot space at 2820-C W. Cary St. – last occupied by Carytown Cupcakes – and spent $15,000 transforming it into a gym.
“I’ve been a student of barre for over a year now, and it’s become a big part of my life,” Gilstrap said. “There are a few other studios in Richmond, and it’s difficult to get a class. So it definitely seemed to me that there was a need.”
Nathan Hughes of Bandazian & Holden brokered the deal for the space.
Gilstrap also owns a caregiver services organization called Lift Caregiving, which she founded in 2011 with fellow former First Market Bank employee Ted Ukrop.
She started offering classes at Barre Boutique on Jan. 21 and has begun circulating flyers.
“We’re still in a soft opening phase right now,” she said.
Other area barre studios include Local Barre in Short Pump and Richmond Barre at Patterson and Libbie avenues.
Gilstrap has dancers to lead her classes, including three veterans of the Richmond Ballet and a member of the VCU dance team.
“I think the experience of our instructors is part of what will set us apart from the competition,” she said.
The instructors are paid per session and through profit sharing, Gilstrap said.
The Barre Boutique charges $15 per class, $70 for five classes, $250 per month for unlimited classes and $200 per month for 12 months of unlimited classes.
Gilstrap said the barre technique is good for a variety of clients.
“It’s good for someone who wants to introduce fitness back into their life, because there are almost endless ways that it can be modified,” she said. “And for people that have been doing it for a while, you can scale it to make the moves more intense.