There is a new hot club in town fully decked out with state-of-the-art lighting, the best DJs spinning live and plenty of Instagrammable photo ops. And by club, we mean fitness club. European brand John Reed Fitness opened its second US facility in Dallas on Feb. 24, and North Texans can’t get enough of the nightclub-inspired gym.
As part of the RSG Group, John Reed Fitness opened its first club in 2016 in Germany and has since expanded internationally with gyms in Istanbul, Budapest, Paris and Prague. Now Dallas joins the ranks with a location at the old Preston Center Pavilion Gold’s Gym space at 8335 Westchester Drive. The transformation is a whole 180.
“When you come into John Reed’s, every room is going to have a different feel to keep from getting bored when you work out,” says Alex Knies, club manager for John Reed Dallas.
The meek exterior does not hint at the immaculate, curated oasis that lies beyond the front doors. The 30,000-square-foot club elevates the gym experience with an aesthetic appeal that’s the stuff of Instagrammers’ and TikTokers’ dreams.
The entryway is an all-white, Kardashian-esque blank canvas that cleanses the palate before guests step onto a stairway that gives the first glimpse of the gym’s nightclub vibe. The space is camera-ready from floor to ceiling. There are eight rooms, not including the locker rooms, that were individually crafted for a unique atmosphere. Most notable is the weight room with white and gold weight machines, a fireplace and a longhorn skull, clearly designed with Texas in mind.
Apart from the neon light signage adorning the walls and the reflective lobby mannequins, John Reed’s design elements include a custom floor mural by Texas artists.
“This is probably one of the big highlights that most people like to look at,” Knies says of the work. “We had 10 different artists come in and each had their own section. They all tied into this big snake that runs through the mural. It was their brainchild.”
The 2,000-square-foot mural encircles the functional workout area and DJ booth. It was a collaborative effort between Dallas artists Drigo, Jerod Davies, Molly Margaret Sydnor, Ryan Stalsby and Texas artists Bradford Maxfield, Brandon Adams, Christin Atkinson, Mike Johnston, Niz Graphics and Zuzu.
The visuals are but one element that make the John Reed experience. Music is another foundational tenet of the fitness club’s philosophy. The gym has live DJs Tuesday and Thursday mornings, Wednesday and Friday evenings and Sunday during brunch hours. DJs Poizon Ivy, Natural Hiiigh, Casie Farell, Jessie Koo and others performed at John Reed.
Also unique to John Reed is the Boost Club fitness class. Led by a live DJ, Boost Club is an immersive experience in which music, instruction and lighting are coordinated for a boutique workout smack dab in the middle of a makeshift nightclub. They also offer cycle, dance, strength, Pilates and yoga group classes.
Personal training is available, and two sessions are included with membership. The gym is open from 5 am to 12 am daily. Memberships are $100 per month with no initiation fees or contract and $80 per month with a yearly contract. Drop-in rates are available for those who want to test John Reed’s experience before committing.
During the opening weekend, Dallasites flocked to John Reed. Many took to social media to document the extravaganza.
@briannaraefitness Shout out to our morning DJ @jessekookoo – NEW @JOHN REED Fitness Dallas gym! #gymvibes #fitness #gymtok #fittok Take It (Extended Mix) – Dom Dolla
“There were over 2,000 people here in one single day,” Knies says. “We were the number one trending thing on TikTok.”
The gym has been overcome with influencers looking to get content or check out the hype. The gym has received mixed reviews, although mostly favorable. Dallas health coach Kristy Shimkus was not a fan, but she does credit John Reed for creating a lively atmosphere.
“The DJ and club music definitely makes lifting more fun and the social aspect is off the charts,” Shimkus said in an Instagram post. “The grand opening party was a lot of fun! However, I’ll be staying at Equinox for a few reasons.”
One of Shimkus’ reasons for favoring Equinox is the age demographic. In his experience, John Reed attracted a younger crowd.
John Reed does not target a specific demographic, Knies says. Instead they invite guests to experience the space to see if it resonates with them.
“We got some 20-year-olds come in and they’ll say, ‘I can’t believe the music, it’s too loud’ or ‘It’s too dark for me,’” Knies says. “It wasn’t for them, and that’s OK. There’s just no way for us to kind of gauge who really actually likes it.”
Those looking for a peaceful workout fearful they’ll be met with a photo op overflowing with influencers, ring lights and tripods should know that John Reeds has a photography policy in place.
“People do need to be aware of the people around them. While they may not care if they are in other people’s pictures, other people may,” Knies says. “We don’t allow professional equipment unless it’s been coordinated to our PR team. People can’t come in here with a cameraman, which some people at our grand opening did. We got a lot of that. But if that’s your goal, of course we allow, but it’s got to go through a PR team and done in a specific way.”