Grand Ridge Plaza Expansion to Welcome Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness Issaquah Grand Ridge Plaza

Orangetheory Fitness Issaquah Grand Ridge PlazaGrand Ridge Plaza is growing: Construction crews recently broke ground on a 5,325-square-foot building at the corner of NE High Street and 9th Avenue NE, representing the final phase of the shopping center. Two new merchants will open in the space in 2018, including popular gym Orangetheory Fitness. The second new merchant will be announced shortly.

Known for its intensive one-hour workout sessions, Orangetheory has 12 treadmills, 12 rowing machines, 12 suspension unit systems and plenty of free weights and benches for classes of 10 to 25 people. It offers one-hour group workout sessions led by personal coaches—and the first class is free. Orangetheory’s Grand Ridge Plaza studio will be similar to its Mercer Island and Bellevue locations, offering up to 10 sessions per day.

Designed by GBD Architects, Grand Ridge Plaza’s newest building will reflect the existing visual architectural character of the shopping center and surrounding community of Issaquah Highlands. It will share bicycle and car parking with BevMo!, which is located on the same block, and will feature many of the beautiful plants and trees that complement the area. Currently, crews are completing groundwork at the site, preparing sub-surfaces for the start of vertical construction this winter.

Check back for regular updates on the blog as construction progresses and Grand Ridge Plaza welcomes new merchants.

Regency Centers Grand Ridge PlazaIn keeping with its green building commitment, Grand Ridge Plaza will use energy efficient materials (Solarban 70 XL glazing, insulated walls and TPO roofing) as well as deep awnings and canopies for construction. In 2015, the 325,640-square-foot shopping center achieved both LEED ND (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development) and LEED Silver recognition for its efforts to incorporate sustainable design into design and development. Sustainable practices throughout the center include energy efficiency, water conservation, recycled and locally sourced materials, healthier indoor air quality and stormwater mitigation.



Sip Your Way into Fall Wines

Sip Wine Issaquah Grand Ridge Plaza

Wine Sip Issaquah Bar ShatterFall is an ideal time to explore new wines and the bounty of the harvest. At Sip at the wine bar & restaurant, the wine list offers a myriad of options. We asked Sip Manager and in-house wine expert Celinda Norton for advice on which wines to try this fall. These are her top picks:

Shatter Grenache (Maury, France)
Launched in 2012, Shatter wine is a collaboration between Trinchero Family Estates and wine making legends Dave Phinney of Orin Swift Wines and Joel Gott of Joel Gott Wines. “This red is from the small town of Maury in the Roussillon,” said Norton. “Many people find Grenache appealing; the finish is long and concentrated, and its lush fruit flavors make it a good choice to pair with fall food.”

Conundrum White (California)
Conundrum is sourced in places that are both famed and off the beaten track: Napa, Monterey, SantaSip wine bar Issaquah fall wines Barbara, San Benito, Solano and Tulare Counties. “Conundrum is a blend that changes every year,” explains Norton. “It’s my top recommendation for Thanksgiving. This wine will make everyone happy—and it might be the only thing everyone can agree on. You might even notice that it’s perceived in different ways because everyone’s sense of taste is different.” What’s the blend? Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscat Canelli and Viognier.

Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel
This beautiful California red offers tantalizing raspberry, blueberry, classic briary and spicy flavors. “This Sip wine bar Issaquah fall winesis a wine that’s begging to go with your meal,” explains Norton. “It’s an excellent choice for dinner: its ripe, luscious fruit gives it the strength it needs to pair well with fall menus. The Seghesio Zinfandel is a bold wine that doesn’t disappoint.”

Gorman Winery Rosey Rosé (Washington State)
These are exciting times for winemakers in Washington State and Gorman Winery is among the newer vineyards creating wines that are wines are bold and delicious. According to Norton, “Gorman Winery’s Rosé goes beautifully with the fall harvest, as well as a classic Thanksgiving menu. It offers dry, refreshing fruit flavors without being overly sweet. It’s a blend ofSip wine bar Issaquah fall wines Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot that’s made with the harvest of Yakima Valley. While this Rosé is wonderful for fall, it can (and should) be enjoyed year-round.”

Norton’s recommendations are all available at Sip. On Wednesdays, wine bottles priced at $100 or less are half-price.

Like winemakers, Sip continues to innovate, creating new menu offerings and promotions to charm guests. Sip’s free Wednesday night wine tastings will continue this fall, featuring wines that aren’t available at most stores or restaurants. In fact, many of the wines poured at Wednesday night tastings aren’t on Sip’s menu—but they can be if guests fall in love with a particular vintage.

Norton invites you to explore Sip’s expansive wine list and fall menu on Thursday nights, which feature live music. Or, bring the kids on weekends and littles ones eat free from 4 pm to 6 pm. Sip will also welcome winemaker Mark Ryan on Tuesday, September 26 as part of its wine dinner series.

As Norton likes to say, “My favorite wine is the one in my glass.” We couldn’t agree more!

Photo credit: Shubha Tirumale Photography LLC


The RAM Raises $18,390 for ALS Research

Ales4ALS The RAM Issaquah

RAM Issaquah Ales4ALSThanks to beer aficionados across Puget Sound, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery raised $18,390 for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) research.

For the fourth consecutive year, The RAM participated in the Ales for ALS fundraising campaign, and brewed a unique beer to raise money for the cause. One dollar from each pint of their IPA 4 ALS sold during the month of August was donated to the ALS Therapy Development Institute, the world’s leader in ALS research. At the Grand Ridge Plaza restaurant, beer lovers enjoyed 1038 pints, which was the fourth highest amount among all RAM locations.

The Ales for ALS program was created by Loftus Ranches and Hopunion in Yakima, WA. It provides a promising and experimental one-of-a-kind hop pellet blend to a select handful of brewers throughout the U.S. to create their own special brew. Since the program’s inception in 2013, participating breweries have collectively raised more than $1.25 million for ALS research.

The RAM tapped its 2017 IPA 4 ALS small batch seasonal release at all locations, with copious fresh,RAM Issaquah Ales4ALS cold pints enjoyed at the Grand Ridge Plaza restaurant. Their IPA 4 ALS hops blend featured citra, loral and four experimental varieties.

According to The RAM’s Director of Brewery Operations, David Leonard, the aromatic hops produced “dank tropical fruit with pungent citrus notes” that had equal appeal for beer lovers and hops aficionados.

Cheers to all who enjoyed a pint for the cause!

About ALS Therapy Development Institute

The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) and its scientists actively discover and develop treatments for ALS. It is the world’s first and largest nonprofit biotech focused 100 percent on ALS research.

What is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to paralysis, due to the death of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain.

  • There is no known cure for the disease.
  • The average person survives only 2 to 5 years following diagnosis.
  • About 5,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year.
  • There are about 30,000 people in the U.S. diagnosed with ALS today.
  • The worldwide population of ALS patients is estimated at 450,000.

Photo credit: Shubha Tirumale Photography LLC


From Student to Teacher at barre3

barre3 Issaquah Grand Ridge Plaza

barre3 Issaquah Grand Ridge PlazaDuring barre3’s grand opening week in 2011, a now familiar face took her first class. Elizabeth Gardiner stepped into the Grand Ridge Plaza studio and instantly connected with barre3’s workout ethic. It’s a connection that inspired her to take daily classes, and to become the studio manager in 2013. Today, you’ll find Elizabeth teaching classes—something she never thought she had the courage to do.

Founded in Portland, barre3 is a one-hour workout inspired by ballet barre, yoga, and Pilates. It’s a flexible combination that immediately appealed to Gardiner. “What separates barre3 from other workouts is its multi-level aspect; a student who is new to classes will enjoy the same benefits as someone who takes three classes a week,” she explained. “Routines are adapted to individuals, it’s safe for all ages, and you can see and feel the results. barre3 tones and lengthens major muscle groups, revs your heart rate, and strengthens your body.”

While Gardiner was eager to take classes, she shied away from becoming a certified barre3 instructor. It took five years for her to overcome her initial shyness and consider the possibility of teaching.

“I loved classes so much and was invited to audition to become an instructor, but I was anxious about leading a group,” said Gardiner. “Then, my daughter asked me why I was afraid and it made me question my own confidence—maybe because I’m a perfectionist. After some soul searching, I took a chance and auditioned.”

Gardiner’s certified barre3 instructor training began with three days in Portland. Then, she progressed to teaching classes for friends and family, plus a series of free community classes.

To complete the process, she filmed a class for review by the corporate office. She was soon on her way tobarre3 Issaquah Grand Ridge Plaza teaching up to eight classes per week. “Being a barre3 instructor is an awesome, fulfilling job and I’m so happy I make the decision to pursue teaching,” said Gardiner.

barre3 encourages newcomers to try a class, emphasizing that it’s not intimidating. In fact, the studio’s strong sense of community is a reason why people become regulars. Routines are constantly evolving, which keeps instructors like Gardiner on her toes. Classes change to keep the body and mind engaged with the same intensity.

“For anyone who’s hesitating about trying barre3, I encourage them to take a chance—like I did,” concluded Gardiner. “You may fall in love with a whole new fitness routine, and you’ll certainly love the results.”

About barre3 Grand Ridge Plaza
barre3 is located at 1091 NE High Street, next to Sip at the wine bar & restaurant. Visit to learn more or call 425-391-1192. The studio offers a new student package including three one-hour classes for $40. Each barre3 studio is independently operated by local owners, employing a team of instructors and offering up to 50 classes per week. Grand Ridge Plaza studio owners Heather Kass and Anna McEvers also teach classes.

Photo credit: Shubha Tirumale Photography LLC