By Kevin Canessa Jr.
For years, it was a video store — and then it sat idly, without a tenant, for many more years. It was certainly what most would consider an eyesore. But now, finally, the property at 495 Kearny Ave. has gotten a much-needed makeover, and East Side Fitness is ready to make the location a go-to spot.
Brandon Zaleski, one of four co-owners of the new gym (there’s another in Maplewood) says he and his partners selected Kearny for the new workout locale because there really weren’t any alternatives in the town.
“My family is originally from Harrison,” Zaleski said. “And I knew that for local residents, there wasn’t much of a choice for a gym in the immediate area. So we found the property, hired a contractor to renovate the place and bring it back to life. And now, we’re really excited about bringing East Side Fitness to Kearny.”
Because of its size — about 6,000 square feet — Zaleski says gym-goers can expect an intimate atmosphere where everyone from the most inexperienced to hardcore athletes will all feel at home.
“We aren’t going to be like the big-name places at all,” Zaleski said. “We want to know the names of all of our customers. We want them to know our names. And we want them to find a gym that has a family feel to it.”
To get the location up to standards, Zaleski says all new electrical equipment was installed, including new heating and air-conditioning. All of the workout equipment is also brand new, he says.
“But we’ll be much more than that,” he said. “We’ll offer a wide variety of classes, including Zumba, which seems to be the most popular these days, along with Pilates and Yoga and more.”
Additionally, there will be personal trainers on-site available on an a la carte basis.
The equipment includes all of the best in strength conditioning and cardio.
“If you can lift 500 pounds, you’ll find what you’re looking for here. If you have no lifting experience at all, you’ll find what you need here, too,” Zaleski said.
East Side is offering an opening special with an introductory monthly membership of $24.99 with a one-year commitment. There are no enrollment fees — or any other kind of hidden fees often associated with large-scale gyms.
“You won’t find any of that here. Our prices are our prices — and there’s nothing we don’t tell you from the start,” Zaleski said. “And the best part of it is that for under $1 a day, local residents will now have a gym they can call their own — and without having to travel far to get there.
“And we really want to give this a special, personal touch. We aren’t trying to be like the bigger-name gyms — we truly want to be Kearny’s hometown gym.
” If you’re interested …
Hours: Monday to Friday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Grand Opening Specials!
• Annual membership: $24.99 a month with $25 initiation fee waived for a limited time. Or, $34.99 a month with classes included.
• Three-month membership: $99 paid in full, with $10 initiation fee waived for a limited time.
• Month-to-month member ship: $29.99 per month plus $40 initiation fee.
• Three-month student membership: $75 (must be paid in full and in advance).