San Francisco

New Pilates studio Core MVMT strengthens Castro's position as SF fitness mecca

In recent years, Castro gyms and fitness studios have been flexing their muscles, replacing what was once the Castro Coffee Cluster. The phenomenon shows no signs of stopping, with a brand-new pilates studio set to open by the end of the year.

Experienced pilates instructor Lisa Thomure will open pilates studio Core MVMT at 2349 Market Street, replacing former coffee shop illy Caffè. Construction is currently underway, with a target opening date of December 8.

Public records show a permit was issued for demolition of the existing food preparation equipment, renovating the floor and walls, demolishing non-load bearing partitions and installing new non-load bearing partitions. Construction costs are estimated at $70,000.

Inside the former illy Caffè space. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Originally from St. Louis, Thomure has lived in San Francisco's Tenderloin for the past 8 years. She tells Hoodline she's excited to open her first studio in the Castro, bringing modern pilates to the neighborhood.

"Traditional pilates is more designed to recover from injury," Thomure said.  She said Core MVMT will "meet the market demand for intense fitness classes."

"It's definitely high intensity but low impact," she added. "It's a good method for anybody, you don't have to be super fit."

Core MVMT customers can expect a welcoming workout environment without the typical gym attitude. "Everyone's invited, fitness is for everyone," Thomure said.

Core MVMT's Lisa Thomure (left). | Photo: Leslie Kimm/Facebook

Thomure's plans include dividing the current space into two smaller rooms. One room will be outfitted with 13 XFormer pilates reformers, and she's currently exploring ideas for the second room, including massage treatment, yoga classes and meditation. She said she's open to suggestions from the community.

She said she's even interested in hosting men's knitting group SF Men Knit, who used to meet at illy Caffè on Sundays.

Initially during a soft opening phase, Core MVMT will host four evening classes six days a week. Once all the kinks are worked out you can expect ten classes a day, seven days a week.

Thomure says Core MVMT will offer a small selection of retail items like t-shirts, socks and towels. She's also currently exploring the idea of adding a selection of grab-and-go food items.

Fans of illy Caffè's popular back patio will be happy to know Thomure plans to keep it open, and is considering a few ideas for activating it.

Back patio space at 2349 Market St. | Photo: Carmen V./Yelp

"One of my favorite things about the Castro is that it's a community," Thomure said. "It's where I found my voice and my community."

Thomure said she's received mostly positive feedback so far. "I've had so many people support me and build my confidence," she said.

Thomure acknowledges there's already an abundance of gyms and fitness studios in the neighborhood. Recent openings in the Castro include Barry's Bootcamp (2280 Market St.), CorePower Yoga (100 Church St.), MX3 Fitness (2336 Market St.) and Boombox Fitness (2109 Market St.).

Barry's Bootcamp opened in March. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Traditional gyms in the neighborhood include Fitness SF (2301 Market St.), Alex Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and CrossFit gym Flagship Athletic Performance (160 Church St.).

Adding to those options, the Castro hosts a wide selection of specialty fitness studios including Core40 (4122 18th St.), SoulCycle (400 Castro St.), and Yoga Tree (97 Collingwood St.).

However, Thomure believes Core MVMT will fit right in and be successful. "I don't really think that I'm competing with the big guys, I think I'm supplementing," she said. "I'm hoping my clients feel the classes they're taking at Core MVMT are improving their performance in other high intensity, high impact fitness methods."

It remains an open question whether the Castro has reached peak fitness.

2349 Market Street

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