The latest tenant to join downtown Lafayette: a jiu-jitsu and yoga studio.
Cutter Kates, who owns CK Construction, will and two others will open BEJJ (Be Jiu-Jitsu) at 426 Jefferson St. in the space that last held Ink Gallery Tattoos possibly by the end of November.
Kates said he and co-owners John Jordan and Julian Smith were trying to find a location for their business idea when they were walking downtown and noticed most of the merchants had reopened following the coronavirus pandemic but the tattoo shop remain closed.
They inquired about the space, and Downtown Development Authority CEO Anita Begnaud connected them with the owners to iron out a lease to become the latest business to move into the 400 and 500 blocks of Jefferson Street.
“As far as the location, I think that was an untapped market,” Kates said. “I don’t think there’s anything like it. Downtown is really developing nicely. I think it’s a good community to be a part of.”
The three have been working on the 2,300-square-foot space in recent weeks, he said. The 30-foot-wide space — which been a wig and jewelry store — will be eventually used for mats for sessions, but currently electrical and plumbing repairs are underway before it will be up for final inspection.
Jordan will be the lead instructor, said Kates, who had done jiu jitsu for about 10 years.
“Our goal is to try to enable the community — men, women and children — to learn how to defend themselves,” Kates said. “Not so much in a violent way but to disarm a situation and get home safely. (Yoga) is a good complement to the services we provide. It’s just a good, healthy exercise that we feel anyone can enjoy.”