Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville Mixes Work and Working Out
The Brooklyn Boulders (BKB) climbing gym in Somerville is all about culture. It’s about rock climbing, yes, but it’s also about innovation, art, music, and community. And although some of the gym’s accoutrements (a cafe, a shared workspace, a yoga studio, event rooms, and pop up shops, among other things) are not yet up and running, the facility is already popular.BKB Somerville has been in the works since March, and the facility is modeled after the original Brooklyn Boulders climbing gym in New York.
Jesse Levin, BKB Somerville’s cofounder, says that the purpose of the gym is to help people immerse themselves in an active and stimulating environment by providing a shared workspace as well as areas to take fitness classes and relax. “We hope to attract people who find it appealing to work at a standup desk with a pull up bar attached to it,” he says. “Then that same businessman or woman can attend a yoga class, grab coffee, and go climbing. It’s cultural. It’s dynamic. It’s basically a constant, screaming non sequitur.”
The gym’s shared workspace is co-sponsored by the Cambridge Innovation Center. When that opens this fall, the goal is for members to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle by incorporating both work and play into their daily routines. BKB Somerville hopes to create a “vibrant, creative culture,” according to their mission statement, bringing a “truly unique and collaborative offering to the Greater Boston area.”
At their grand opening this week, which lasted four days, more than 5,000 people showed up. “The grand opening was definitely a tangible representation of what we’re trying to conjure up here at Brooklyn Boulders,” Levin says. “It was cool to see all of the different people who were there. We had artists, break dancers, athletes. It’s great to see all of those worlds interact.”
The gym will be hosting HackFit, a healthy startup weekend, in September. Lockers arrive next week, and a cafe is being built inside the gym as well. BKB Somerville will also be hosting a major product launch later this month, and eventually, Levin says that the gym’s attendees will even be able to head to the planned in-house barbershop for a straight razor shave before a climbing session.
“It’s a dynamic environment in here,” he says. “People are running through, doing push-ups, and throwing medicine balls. People are climbing. There’s community-produced art all over the walls. It’s collaborative and creative.”