Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
Hearty helpings abound at Pirone's, where chefs construct a sizeable menu of steaks, seafood, pizzas, and other traditional Italian specialties. As the dinner curtain rises, feast your eyes and your lips upon an opening number of fried calamari ($11) or mussels marinara ($10) before moving on to sing the praises of a tender, boneless chicken cacciatore ($17) backed by peppers and onions, and simmering in a marinara mushroom sauce. Waiters cart plates of meat- or cheese-tortellini alfredo ($16), chosen from among more than 22 pasta picks that range from traditional spaghetti with meatballs ($22) to an eggplant-topped baked ziti ($16). Meal-goers can appease meaty appetites with a mushroom-infused veal marsala ($19) or a thick-cut steak à la Pirone ($21) topped with mushrooms, provolone, shrimp, sherry sauce, and a miniature model of the restaurant, and those who prefer sliceable sustenance can snack on a sliver of spinach-and-ricotta pizza ($8–$17) or divide a mini calzone ($7) into five mini-er calzones.
The Yoga Sanctuary's impassioned instructors helm an extensive array of classes that cater to varying skill levels and yogic interests. Tasked with centering minds and corralling stampeding thoughts, Hatha sessions indulge arching limbs with a gentler yoga style that bolsters stamina and mindful concentration. Vinyasa classes enlist a dynamic series of fluid transitions that integrate measured breaths, crafting an invigorating sequence of poses that flows with the grace of a waterfall in zero gravity. Throughout the kinesthetic symphony of Ashtanga yoga's intensive regimen, the style's Primary Series of poses sculpts lithe limbs with powerful postures that hone the strength and flexibility needed to arm wrestle an octopus.
The "town" in Kids Play Lounge hosts a post office and a movie theater, enough to ignite toddlers' imaginations and deep reverence for the US Postal service as they make believe in a mini play unit, replete with soft flooring and age appropriate toys. Elsewhere in the award-winning 92,000-square-foot indoor facility, guests ages 9 and under can crawl through see-through panels in a two-level play area. Upon re-energizing with healthy, peanut and tree nut–free snacks at the café, kids can practice at the sports-oriented arcade with games such as air hockey and skeeball. Along with open play, Kids Play Lounge hosts up to 20 children for birthday celebrations in one of four party rooms, 2.5-hour blocks of supervised drop-off playtime, and story time at 11 a.m. every Wednesday.