July 17 2013 12:00 AM

Bikram Yoga / Halo Burger


The downward dog days of summer are upon us. Last month, yoga instructor Ann Chrapkiewicz opened the Bikram Yoga Capital Area studio in East Lansing’s Brookfield Plaza. This is the first business for Chrapkiewicz.

“Yoga has become such a buzzword,” Chrapkiewicz said. “The definition has become very loose. Now it seems every gym has a yoga class, but they can’t do what we’re doing. I have over 500 hours of training.”

Named for its founder, Bikram Choudhury, Bikram yoga consists of 26 postures that are done consecutively in each class. Workouts always take 90 minutes and are performed in 105-degree heat. (This week, Chrapkiewicz can probably just leave the doors open.) She said this style was designed to be easily accessible for beginners and still provide a lifetime of challenge.

“It’s not easy for me, and I’ve been doing it 10 years,” Chrapkiewicz said. “Whatever your body needs, you get.”

The 3,600-square-foot location was previously the site of a grocery store. And business seems to be off to a great start: She said there are over 200 students already.

Halo there

There’s a new contender in the race for Lansing’s best burger. Next month, Halo Burger, a fast food chain that started in Flint, will open its 14th Michigan location, in Frandor.

Last week, Jeff Bedolla, vice president of operations of Halo’s parent company, Dortch Enterprises, held a job fair on the site of the soon-to-be restaurant to search for qualified employees. The 2,500-square-foot space, formerly the home of Moto Photo, will transcend the format to become a “fast casual” restaurant, the second Halo of its kind. (Other fast casual restaurants in town include Penn Station East Coast Subs and Zoup!)

The chain’s new style was unveiled two months ago in Clarkston. Bedolla said it’s been quite a success with new specialty burgers such as black bean burgers and turkey burgers and menu items like the homemade chips and signature “Halo-peno” sauce.

Halo was started in the back of a boxcar in 1923 by Flint hotelier Sam Blair. In 1938, he hired Bill Thomas, who took company operations six years later. In the early ‘50s, he started opening other locations in southeast Michigan. It stayed in the Thomas family until 2010, when Dortch bought it.

The success of the Clarkston store inspired Dortch to move forward with the Frandor location.

“Our food is too good to be fast food,” he said.

Kali Jo Wolcott contributed to this story.

Bikram Yoga Capital Area

1355 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing

Classes at 6 a.m. Monday and Wednesday; 9:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 11:30 a.m. Sunday; 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; 5:45 p.m. Monday-Friday; 6:45 p.m. Sunday; and 7:45 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

$18 drop-in/$35 two-week unlimited/other packages available.