End of an era

With no warning, iconic David Barton Gym unexpectedly shutters its doors


Members of the iconic David Barton Gym — which opened in 1992 and was the first gym to ever offer a nightclub-like experience — received an email late last night informing them that all facilities in New York were shutting its doors.

Manhattan’s huge three-level Astor Place facility currently has a typed-out note taped to the glass-paneled entrance: “This David Barton Gym has ceased operations due to competitive market conditions,” the sign reads.

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It later mentions that facilities in New York, Miami, Chicago, and Boston were all closed, effective immediately.”

“We greatly appreciate your past patronage and deeply regret we can no longer continue to serve you.”

According to the Daily Mail, most staffers were just as surprised as members: They were given no warning that their locations were closing due to bankruptcy.

Reportedly, only locations in Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas are remaining open.

Talking to New York magazine, David Barton himself once said, “I wanted to start a gym where cool people would go.”

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The first class they offered featured drag legend Joey Arias leading an abs workout dressed in a 1930s one-piece swimsuit.

Barton stepped away from operations in 2013, stating that “companies do fine without their founders all the time.”

Overnight, the David Barton Gym website was redesigned, with only four open locations now featured on the homepage.

The email sent to members states:

The difficult decision to close was necessitated by changing forces in the fitness industry, including the rise of boutique studios and tremendous competitive pricing pressures in the market.

‘The company could no longer sustain its operations given the current competitive environment.”