Bouldering and Coffee Lounge “Brings an Outside Feel Inside”

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Boulders and Brews climbing gym
Boulders and Brews opened next to the University of Arkansas last year with an ambience that combines chill coffeehouse and small bouldering hub vibes. (All images courtesy of Boulders and Brews)

Boulders and Brews
Fayetteville, Arkansas

Specs: A new bouldering gym opened last November in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Aptly named, Boulders and Brews features over 3,000 square feet of climbing surface as well as a coffee lounge for visitors. According to Fallon Cardoza, co-owner of Boulders and Brews, she, Patrick Randall and Jason Lam “knew the need for a climbing gym with a training space was high” in Northwest Arkansas. “People have been saying it for years, so we finally decided why not us and went for it,” said Cardoza. “We want to give students at the [University of Arkansas] a place to feel safe, be able to exercise, and connect—a place that is home away from home.” The owners were also looking to fill a gap in connection following the pandemic.

Elevate Climbing Walls

 

Owners Cardoza, Randall and Lam found a former fitness gym space and got busy with the renovations: taking out thousands of ceiling tiles, grids and lights; demolishing some of the interior walls; and transforming steam rooms into saunas. They spent “countless hours” as a team, Cardoza recalled, working to get the facility ready for climbing and “create a dope coffee environment that brings an outside feel inside.” Having a coffee lounge was also a way to offer “something different for people to enjoy who are or are not climbing,” said Cardoza. Boulders and Brews now serves locally sourced teas in addition to coffee, and the lounge has become a place for relaxing between climbing sessions, work meetings, or classes at the university.

Climbing walls at Boulders and Brews
Before the gym’s walls and flooring were installed, it took a labor of love from the Boulders and Brews owners to get the building ready for indoor climbing.

As for the climbing and training amenities, the new gym has a dedicated training section with an adjustable Kilter Board and an adjustable spray wall, campus boards and hangboards, as well as space for weights, yoga classes and fitness classes. The ownership team is also excited to host competitions and events with community partners. “We are very driven to support local businesses, so partnerships are very important to us to create ties in the community,” Cardoza explained. “We have some really exciting ideas for competitions, [and] I plan to incorporate some mindfulness and bouldering ladies’ clinics.”

Walls: OnSite
Flooring: Kilter
CRM Software: Approach
Website: bouldersandbrews.com
Instagram: @bouldersandbrewsgym

Training area at the new gym
Besides the coffee and bouldering walls, Boulders and Brews also has a training space in the gym with two adjustable training walls and other training equipment.

In Their Words: “Most days in this world of owning a business, I feel like it’s one step forward and two steps back. But let me tell you, that feeling on opening day—when people are pouring in, when a member tells you your gym is their safe/happy place, when you see a kid’s eyes light up for the first time they climb—makes it all absolutely worth it. The community is what motivates us to be innovative, and we want to continue bringing the best experience to them that they can have. We wouldn’t be here without each person that walks through our doors and without the local businesses we work with—so thank you to this community.” – Fallon Cardoza, co-owner and co-founder

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