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New Businesses: 24-Hour Gym, 2-for-1 Pizza

Two national chains and a new pizza place open their doors.

Cedarhurst’s newest gym, Koko FitClub, offers a fresh and distinct approach to workouts.

The centerpiece of this national chain is its exclusive electronic all-in-one exercise machines, which replaces circuit training on multiple pieces of equipment that is typical at most traditional gyms. Each machine includes a computer monitor that guides the member through their workout, based on pre-set personalized goals. It’s like a virtual trainer that prompts the member throughout the workout — how many reps, how many sets, what weight to use and demonstrations of how to do each exercise properly. Members can even track their weekly progress online at their own private web page.

This particular location, at 134 Cedarhurst Ave., is also unique, because it caters to the religious community by having separate men’s and women’s hours. Also, it is not staffed during Shabbos, during which time members can use their personal electronic pass key to access the facility, which is open around the clock, seven days a week.

Owner Hinda Mizrahi, who also owns an investment company, was inspired to purchase the franchise after she became an avid member of the Long Beach location. 

With corporate Koko requiring that every franchisee purchase two locations, Mizrahi also bought a storefront on Peninsula Boulevard in Hewlett. That location is due to open at the end of December. She said that the Hewlett location will benefit Cedarhurst members who may want the option of occasionally utilizing another nearby facility in a co-ed setting.

“The reason she chose this area was because she grew up around here and knows that people here tend to have a lot of children, so they have tight schedules,” said manager Denise Schieren. “With people who are very busy, this is a great place for a quick, efficient workout and also the flexibility of being open 24 hours a day.

Two-for-one pizza

The Five Towns’ newest pizza place, Bogo, was derived from an idea the owner had many years ago of buy-one get-one pies and slices.

“I knew I had to come up with a unique concept,” said owner Zvi Ben-Yosef of his store, located at 206 Rockaway Tpke., in Cedarhurst. “The idea for a BOGO pizza restaurant has been on my mind for about 20 years. It’s a generous deal.”

When a customer buys a pie for $20 or a slice for $3, they get a second one for free — a very competitive price in this area. Since the eatery is kosher, there is no pepperoni or sausage, but some very interesting toppings more than make up for it, such as grilled zucchini, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, shitake mushrooms, kalamata olives, feta cheese and corn. Other menu items also include calzones, salads and pasta. The owner, who has been in the restaurant business since 1979, makes all the dishes from scratch using his own recipes, and organic ingredients are used whenever possible.

The eatery opened a week before Hurricane Sandy and then was forced to close for 10 days afterwards. But Ben-Yosef said that since reopening, things are getting back on track. If his business really takes off, he hopes to open another location in the near future.

“I offer things that no other kosher pizza place has,” said the Woodmere resident. “Our white mushroom pie is delicious and so is the creamed spinach pie. All our specialty pies are very unique to the kosher pizza industry. We put a lot of thought into all the food we serve.”

Auto parts, with service

Repair shop mechanics as well as residents who like to tinker with their own cars now have a large one-stop shop to get everything they need, with the opening of Advance Auto Parts, a country-wide chain that established a new location in October at 296 Burnside Ave. in Lawrence.

In addition to selling auto parts, accessories and maintenance supplies, the store offers several complimentary services, such as checking cars’ electrical systems and installing windshield wipers, headlights and batteries. It also provides delivery to local commercial customers such as professional mechanics and garages. Since the store is fairly large, most common items are always in stock. But products that aren’t on hand can be ordered and are usually shipped quickly. Customers also can drop off used motor oil and batteries for recycling.

The corporate-owned store, which was previously Auto Barn, is managed by David Finkelstein, who has worked for the company for over two years. He said that even though his isn’t the only auto parts place in town, “It’s the best by far, because of our commitment to customer satisfaction.” He claims that the company’s motto says it all — “Service is our best part.”

Finkelstein said that his efforts to spread the word about his store’s arrival in the Five Towns have paid off.

“We put out flyers, we put out mailers, we put out gas station stoppers,” he said. “We also had Q104.3 here for a few hours one day. So far so good — business is doing great.”

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