When Ashlee Lonergan, 32, was looking for a catchy, meaningful and inspiring name to call her new fitness studio in Hamburg, she kept writing words and phrases down on a piece of paper.
Gym. Fitness. Grungy. Hard work.
Nothing seemed to fit. Then, Lonergan thought of “grit.” Something about the sound of the word resonated with her, and she quickly Googled its definition.
“It said strength of character and endurance, which I loved. I felt it embodied exactly what I wanted my studio to stand for and wondered how I could incorporate it into my business. I came up with a million different combinations, including ‘grit and glory,’” Lonergan laughed. “But ultimately I settled on Grit House.”
Grit House, or Grit as most regulars call it, sits almost 20 yards back from the road on Main Street in the Town of Hamburg. The building used to be a medical supply company that specialized in dentistry tools, particularly those little metal picks for digging at teeth. Lonergan was originally concerned about the studio being set back, so she invested in a modern-looking industrial garage door that can open up and give passersby a glimpse of Grit’s look and feel, and also a window shopping-esque view to classes in session.
“The garage door was a huge investment,” Lonergan confessed. “But then people walking by can look directly in and see us working out. Some people come and check us out because of that. I also wanted a space that had sectioned rooms so I could do power yoga in one room and cycling in another. As soon as I saw this place, I knew it would work. It had the kind of separation I was looking for.”
The inside of Grit is modern and welcoming, with earthy tones and lots of wood accents. There’s bar seating to the left of the garage entrance for people to sit and chat before or after class, a spin room full of 18 high-end bikes, a main room with a matted floor used for boxing and cardio classes, and a smaller yoga room off to the side.
What sets Grit apart, Lonergan says, is that it’s not your average gym.
“Really, I just wanted it to feel casual and relaxed. And it’s become a second home for a lot of people. They like to hang out here, even when they’re not taking classes. We’ve become a big group of friends, it’s just a lot of fun.”
- Indoor cycling
- Boxing and conditioning
- Sculpt pilates
- Mat pilates
- Power yoga
- Boot-camp style
- Drop-in class, non-clients: $14
- Drop-in class, clients: $14 (buy one, get one free)
- Student/Military drop-in class: $10
- One-month unlimited: $100
- Class packs: 5 classes: $62.50; 10 classes: $110; 20 classes: $180