“We focus on all of our individual students, not just our competitors,” said instructor Jeff Patterson when describing what sets Northwest Fighting Arts apart from other gyms. At Northwest, students can take any of the gym’s classes or customize a package to suit their needs. Instructors specialize in popular martial-arts forms such as muay thai kickboxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and boxing, and they also offer harder-to-find styles such as jeet kune do and kali/eskrima. Though martial-arts classes themselves can provide an intense workout, Northwest Fighting Arts also has strictly fitness classes such as interval training and circuit training.
Don’t be surprised by the yoga equipment hanging from the ceiling. At Shakti House, the dangling silk slings are used in aerial yoga classes, which are designed to boost blood flow and decompress spines. Aerial yoga practitioners wrap around their legs around the soft slings to perform graceful inversions, and slip their arms through them for added support during challenging poses. However, aerial yoga is just one of the more than 25 yoga styles practiced at Shakti House.
The veteran team of instructors also leads ground-bound classes in yin, hatha, ashtanga, and kundalini yoga styles, helping yogis of all levels beat stress and build strength and flexibility. Their Pilates mat classes, meanwhile, build core strength more effectively and than a 24-hour tickle fight. In total, they lead more than 30 classes per week, but visitors don’t have to workout every time they stop by the studio—they can also browse an on-site boutique stocked with Lucy activewear, handmade jewelry, and rotating art displays.
At Lightbar, patrons leave behind worries and workday stresses to unwind with electronica and dub music and adult beverages made with top-shelf spirits. A far cry from the raucous atmosphere of a nightclub or the crowds of costumed mascots at sports bars, Lightbar prides itself as a "listening lounge," a relaxing, yet enticing venue full of eclectic music each night from a rotating set of DJs, and delicious drinks. Guests nestle into tented booths to nibble on crostini topped with artichoke dip and pork rillette, or belly up to the bar for a glass of wine or masterfully crafted cocktail.
Grand Central Restaurant and Bowling Lounge surrounds its 12 bowling lanes with leather couches and flickering fireplaces, much like a living room designed by PBA great Earl Anthony. High-definition projection screens broadcast music videos high above each lane, and 20 plasma televisions broadcast live sports events at the bar. Grand Central Restaurant and Bowling Lounge also has a second-level mezzanine, where guests can watch games from above or pretend to be gods of thunder.
Each step of Ryan Sharp’s winemaking process embodies the small-batch ethos. Within the Eastside headquarters of ENSO Winery—Wine Press Northwest’s 2013 Oregon Winery to Watch—he mixes several winemaking techniques, yielding complex flavors inside miniature fermentation bins. He mashes grapes in miniature crush equipment and ferments whites and rosés in steel-jacketed tanks no larger than a fully grown mannequin. He sources grapes only from the West Coast, giving himself a framework for his experiments with varietals such as pinot gris, pinot noir, zinfandel, and counoise. As part of his craft-oriented operation, he never makes more than 100 cases at a time of the wines from his ever-evolving roster.
At ENSO's Urban Winery & Tasting Lounge, rustic wooden chairs gather under bare light bulbs and tin lampshades, surrounding a tasting bar crafted from old wooden timbers. Guides stationed at the bar pour tastes of ENSO- and Resonate-label wines, explaining how to decipher each wine's flavor notes. These wines—along with two rotating draft beers and libations crafted by 10 other local urban wineries—complement plates of marbled artisan salamis cured by Olympic Provisions, blocks of raw and aged cheeses from Steve’s Cheese Bar, and sweet and savory pies from Pacific Pie Co.