Though its original incarnation in 1906 as a factory building may have produced gears and pieces, St. Louis Fitness Factory currently acts as a full-service gym creating newly chiseled humans. That's because it fills its 18,000 square feet and four levels with ellipticals, treadmills, weight machines, and cardio classes that help its members shed pounds and tone muscles. Its nutritionists and certified trainers further the fitness goals of members with diet advice.
• For $63, new members get a two-month household metro membership plus joining fee (a $252 total value). • For $42, new members get a two-month adult metro membership plus joining fee (a $166 total value). • For $15, current members get $30 toward a class or program.
From the muscle-burning exertion of a personal-training session to the tension melting luxury of a Swedish massage, Solera Health Club & Spa furnishes everything a body needs to stay primed and polished. Three separate rooms filled with cardio machines, resistance machines, and free weights make up the health club, where personal trainers lead individuals through tailored routines designed to help them reach their fitness goals. To chisel the body for less dough, group personal-training classes give the same guidance as one-on-one sessions by giving each student one minute on each machine, creating a regimen akin to a relay race or a speed-dating session with the Transformers.
It's a different experience in the spa, where massage therapists and aesthetic experts help melt away the pain of strenuous workouts with a host of soothing treatments. Nine types of massage incorporate aromatherapeutic oils or warm volcanic stones to send muscles into a blissful stupor. Body wraps, scrubs, and facials, meanwhile, draw out impurities from the skin to leave exteriors hydrated and youthful.
The Dollhouse Studios' certified instructors coax sensuality and self-assurance out of shrinking violets with pole and dance fitness classes for women of every experience level. Each class stresses the power of female fellowship and toughens cores with such workout routines as pole spins, Zumba, and kickboxing drills. Specialty workshops and pole-dancing parties teach climbing and twirling techniques within a private setting and stage races to the top of radio-tower antennas. The Dollhouse Studios battles obesity through its D.O.L.L.S. Project, which hosts shimmying sessions for corporate groups and sponsors 5K walks for diabetes and heart-disease research with its Whip My Hair outreach initiative.
In 1927, thousands of feet above the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh was shielded from the elements only by the Spirit of St. Louis' thin linen covering. His eyes, though, boasted much sturdier protection on that historic flight?a custom pair of goggles designed by brothers A.P. and August Erker. More than 80 years and four generations later, the Erker name still stands behind high-quality optics.
Jack Erker Jr., great-grandson of August, presides over the business's two present-day locations, which have also played their part in adorning famous eyes. During Jack's tenure, Will Smith, John Goodman, and Shaquille O'Neal have all stopped in to swap needlepoint tips and grab a pair of stylish frames, which are sourced from Italian and German design houses, as well as his own manufacturing division, Studio Optyx.
What began as Yemina Mata's passion for healthier living through a natural-food- and supplement-based diet resulted in La Buena Salud, a grocery store stocking only natural and organic products. Opened in 1997 in the Soulard farmers' market, La Buena Salud today lures visitors to its current storefront—tucked away just off Washington Avenue—with an impressive array of locally grown meats, eggs, and produce, vitamins, and supplements. Yemina gregariously shares health food and natural-healing wisdom as patrons meander aisles of organic teas from Tulsi and Traditional Medicinals, specialty items, such as piloncillo cane sugar, and natural-health and diet books, all of which earned the store praise from Feast magazine and a polite thank-you note from Mother Nature.