The members at Workout Warehouse, 4841 Urbana Road, were always looking for a place to hang out and have a beer after exercising. So owner Jerry Scafone decided to provide it for them.
The Bar Bell Lounge, located inside the gym, opened last week. The bar is open to the public during the gym’s business hours, Scafone said.
“It’s always been a thought of mine, combining them both,” Scafone said. “A lot of fellas would tell me after they work out they would go to the local tavern and have a beer or two. In the lobby, a lot of the folks would just gather around and hang out after their workouts.”
After some encouragement from his son, Justin, he decided to open the lounge. It opened last Saturday with an appearance by legendary singer/songwriter Jack Scott.
Some people think it’s odd having a bar inside a gym, Scafone said, but others “think it’s the greatest thing since peanut butter.
“They love the idea and they take advantage of the facilities and hang out awhile afterward,” Scafone said. “It’s kind of a neat place.”
The fitness center has been open 21 years. It’s believed to be the first of its kind in Ohio, but other states have similar facilities, Scafone said. The bar also serves food, including Mama Scafone’s Meatball Sandwiches.
“I’ve seen a lot of gym businesses come and go,” Scafone said. “I think this new venture … is a unique feature that no one else has.”
The bar is a great addition, said Paul Townsend, a Clark County resident and longtime gym member.
“It’s not an anti-workout situation, it’s just part of people’s lives,” Townsend said. “Relaxation is a normal thing.”