Students practice yoga positions at Exhale Studios, located on Main Street.

By Taylor Pettit
Tristan Meiman

Richmond is full of interesting places to explore, and some new businesses have opened in the past few months while others have expanded to improve their services. Here is a preview of the newest offerings around town.

Exhale Studios

Exhale Studios, located on Main Street, opened its doors in January, but is now offering yoga classes in addition to its previous schedule of barre and Pilates classes. All of the classes offered at Exhale Studios focus on a healthy body and mind, including the unique barre classes, which are a combination of yoga, Pilates and ballet. All classes are $10, with a $30 special of unlimited classes for 30 days.

“We really have that studio feel. It’s quaint, it’s quiet,” said owner Megan Ridgway. “We know you.”

Ridgway, who has practiced yoga for 12 years and taught for two, jumped at the opportunity to open her own studio.

“This has always been a passion of mine. [Yoga, Pilates, barre] really helped me get through some struggles,” Ridgway said. “When the opportunity came for me to open my studio, it was a dream come true. Really a way to pay it forward.”

All of the certified instructors seek to give someone else the experience that led them to teach.

“It really provides you with the tools to have a happier and healthier life,” said instructor Stephanie Brandt, 29, who works part-time at the studio.  

For more information about the studio, you can find Exhale Studios on Facebook.

Parrot’s Nest

Walking in Parrot’s Nest, it can feel like just another pet store—that is until you meet the crowd in the back room, which is a crowd of parrots. Robin Tipton, owner, wanted to do more than open a store; she wanted to change the way people see birds.

“People think these birds are just mean and loud, but it is about the way they are raised,” Tipton said. “They are loving. They are smart. They can be the best pets.”

Tipton has bred and raised birds for about 12 years, focusing on several varieties of birds including macaws, cockatiels and cockatoos.

Tipton said she wants to encourage people to come in and get to know the birds as long as they understand the commitment owning a bird requires.

“Some of these birds will live a human’s life span,” she said. “This is not a fad pet.”

Even though the store only opened in late July, locals have already started window-shopping for a new feather companion.

“I would love to own my own bird,” said graduate student Caitlin Gussenhoven, 24, from Hohenwald, Tenn. “I like it here. The birds are used to people and very personable.”

Recognizing the desire for a personable pet, Tipton said she makes it her goal to raise birds with that quality.

“It’s a lot of effort. I hand-feed every single bird and that’s what this room is about—all about the social interaction.”

The store also sells pet supplies, puppies and several varieties of rats. It is located on the bypass across from Money Man Pawn.

Gridiron BBQ

Barbecue and football. These two passions led one Eastern alumnus to open his own restaurant: Gridiron BarBQ.

Jamal Davis, former football player for the Colonels, opened his own place simply because he said he thought, “I can do it better.”

Gridiron is located in the back of the Richmond Mall and offers several amenities convenient for students, including free delivery and a 10-percent discount.

You can find more Gridiron specials and information on Facebook and Twitter.

The Regal Beagle

Richmond’s very own Main Street has become the pinnacle location for any new businesses. The most popular locations on Main Street, such as the Paddy Wagon and Madison Garden, are great places to grab a bite and a drink if you’re of drinking age. Main Street’s newest addition, The Regal Beagle, opens its doors to all ages, offering delicious pub-style food, a plethora of drinks and live music.

“We have a ballroom in the back that can be reserved for shows/retirement parties,” said Laura Carr, owner. “Bonepony from Nashville, Tenn., played opening night. We also rent out the room to EKU organizations.”

With great food, music and a happy hour that extends from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., this is the place to stop for a bite to eat or a drink with friends. Look out for The Regal Beagle on Facebook for music events and the nightly specials.

Orange Leaf

Arriving just in time to help battle the heat that has taken hold of Richmond, Orange Leaf treats customers with delicious frozen yogurt and your choice of the many toppings available. Students no longer have to drive to Lexington for a cup of their favorite mixture, not to mention its huge variety of flavors and toppings.

“We have about 50 to 60 flavors that change periodically,” said Bryce Anderson, owner. “Depending on the time of year, different flavors and toppings will become available.”

Not only does Orange Leaf offer tasty frozen treats, but also that delicious word: discounts.  To knock 10 percent off their order, customers only need to check in to Orange Leaf on Facebook’s “Places” using their smart phone. Sure to satisfy a sweet tooth, this chilling snack is highly recommended.