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It’s January, New York, and while you may be dreading the gym commitment you’ve already set for yourself, two well-known entrepreneurs are getting ready to bring you a workout for your own soul.
Peoplehood is the latest concept to launch from founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice. The two friends are well known across the country for their work in establishing Soul Cycle in 2006 on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. In only a few short years, their team quickly established Soul Cycle as one of the country’s premiere fitness companies. Today, the company operates nearly a hundred studios across the country and has spawned numerous competitor services. In 2016 though, Cutler and Rice stepped down from their roles as co-chief creative officers and sold their shares to Equinox in order to pursue new projects.
Their newest project, Peoplehood, has been described by the New York Times as “Soul Cycle without the bike”. While SoulCycle appealed to many people as an opportunity to become fit and get in tune with their bodies, Julie and Elizabeth soon discovered that it was the sense of purpose and community that kept bringing their patrons back every week. After leaving SoulCycle in the safe hands of Equinox, the two friends wanted to continue their commitment to connection that initially sparked SoulCycle, and Peoplehood was born.
Peoplehood is described as “a space where anyone can learn how to nurture relationships with the people they care about, and deepen connections with those they want to better understand.” Through Peoplehood, guests are invited to dig into transformative communications techniques that the founders have learned through working with relational health experts, and discover tools they can use to nurture their most important relationships in creative, fun, and accessible formats. Fundamentally, Peoplehood is a guided group conversation practice where everyone is invited to talk freely, listen deeply, and grow personally – together.
While Peoplehood has been steadily building its name through small groups of monthly cohorts, it appears that Julie and Elizabeth are now gearing up to launch Peoplehood’s flagship location. The two have just acquired the space at 109 West 17th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenue. The location was formerly home to Haven’s Kitchen, a popular recreational cooking school and specialty food shop that sadly closed in 2019.
The Peoplehood flagship location will be split into three different floors, each with a different core concept. The first floor will house the cafe, bar, and “conversation room”, and is expected to seat about 37 guests inside at one time. The cafe is expected to serve a daily selection of pastries, prepackaged snacks, and protein boxes, and the team is also looking to acquire a beer, wine, and cider license for the bar. The second floor, meanwhile, will function as the private office and private lounge and will feature its own service bar for special events. Finally, the third floor will serve as a flexible private event space that can be reserved for special occasions.
According to their liquor license application, Peoplehood is expected to operate daily from 7:00 AM-10:00 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM Friday and Saturday. While you wait for future updates, you can follow Peoplehood on Instagram and sign up to be a part of their next monthly cohort.