Getting Back to Business Bainbridge Island Style (Part 2) – Mac-N-Jacks Auto Repair and Island Fitness   

It’s been a long tough road over the last few months, and although we’re not out of the woods just yet, we’re resilient, and slowly—under County and State re-opening guidelines—we’re opening our doors again to the public. Through this series, I’m excited to share the stories of our Island businesses—what they’ve been doing over the last few months and what they have planned going forward (please note: I’ll be featuring at least two businesses per article).

Per state health order 20-03, a facial covering must be worn in both indoor and outdoor public spaces (when you’re within six feet of people outside your household) to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe and our businesses open.


Mac-N-Jacks Auto Repair has served Bainbridge Island for 46 years. It all began with a bit of romance—when Jesse McFarlane and his younger sister, Ora, moved to BI from North Dakota, they soon met David Jackson and his older sister, Dianne. Jesse fell head over heels for Dianne, and Ora and David followed suit. In 1974, the brothers-in-law, Jesse and David opened up Mac-N-Jacks Auto Repair, that same year, the family grew, when David and Ora gave birth to their son Larry. Larry grew up around Mac-N-Jacks, pumping gas and doing other odd jobs around the shop. Larry also loved demolition derbies, and often attended events with his family, which influenced his already blossoming interest in auto repair.

Auto repair wasn’t Larry’s only interest though, he enjoyed music and is a talented musician. During his first year of college he was introduced to his wife, Beth, also a huge music fan and lover of live performances. Larry and Beth enjoyed travelling while working on Larry’s various music projects. They eventually settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, Larry working at an auto dismantler in San Francisco, and Beth managing a record company in Oakland, and were expecting their first children, twins! It didn’t take much for Larry and Beth to realize that raising twin boys was a big enough challenge, but doing it in the busy and chaotic Bay Area would be even harder, they packed up everything and moved back to Bainbridge Island, settling in their new home on New Sweden Avenue, where Larry’s Scandinavian family had lived for several generations.

Tragically, Larry’s adored father, David Jackson, passed away suddenly in 2003, however, Uncle Jesse kept the shop going and in 2008, welcomed Larry back into the family business. Larry’s love of auto repair spurred him on, and he thoroughly enjoyed learning all the ins-and-outs of running the business, and discovered ways to improve upon the company. In 2019 Larry and Beth bought the business from Uncle Jesse.

Mac-N-Jacks is considered an essential business, and has remained open during the lockdown, taking great efforts to implement the highest standards of safety. They offer pickup and delivery of repaired autos, only allow one person at a time in their lobby, and Larry has taken over the front counter and continued to manage all operations. Beth moved her office from the shop to their home to maintain proper distancing, but upgraded her computer system with a Ring app so that she could talk to the shop and continue her other work duties, and attend to the education needs of her 12-year-old twin sons. In addition to sanitizing all work surfaces, they also sanitize each vehicle before and after they work on them.  Like many businesses on the island, Mac-N-Jacks suffered financially, however they refused to lay anyone off, instead they applied for payroll protection, got creative with special projects and tasks for their mechanics (like having them work on their boat so they could sell it and reinvest the proceeds into the business), they also hired a motorcycle mechanic so they could offer additional services (they are the only motorcycle maintenance and repair on the island). In addition to these changes, Beth and Larry are giving the shop (inside and out) a bit of a facelift and are creating a new website (the website isn’t up and running yet, but you can follow them on Facebook and Instagram).

Mac-N-Jacks proudly supports our local community and their families, and their staff consists solely of Bainbridge Islanders, including Rob Sinnett, who has worked for them since the 1970s.

They are located at  4790 NE Eagle Harbor Dr, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, phone: (206) 842-6092, email:

Island Fitness was founded in 2002 by Alexa and Michael Rosenthal, and has continued to grow and update their equipment and provide educational support for their employees to better assist their clients. Alexa and Michael practice and promote “Strength, Flexibility and Balance”, working together with their team of enthusiastic fitness professionals to promote wellness, nutrition, exercise, rest and mindfulness, as well as balance and flexibility in the personal and professional lives of the community they serve. They were voted “The Best Place to Work Out” by a reader poll in the Bainbridge Review 8 years in a row and are proud sponsors of the annual Bainbridge Island Turkey Trot  and the Grand Old 4th Family Fun Run.

When the lockdown began, Island Fitness immediately adopted a Zoom video platform to continue group classes and their social connection with their clients—they now provide thirty live classes a week. In addition, their team of trainers took the downtime to participate in continuing education courses to update their skills and knowledge.

Now that Phase 2 has begun, they’re offering 1-on-1 professional training and small group training for up to five people, however, for those that are not yet comfortable entering the club, they still offer the virtual classes. In preparation for Phase 3 opening, they have spaced out the equipment to ensure safe distancing, set up portable hand-washing stations inside and outside the front door, installed a hands-free water bottle filling station, and developed a color-coded system for the equipment so that sanitized equipment can be easily identified. In addition, they replaced their entire duct system two years ago in the main part of the gym, which allows for more efficient air circulation; all seven of these oversized HVAC systems have been thoroughly serviced and cleaned.

They’ll maintain a “training-only studio” through Phase 2, and refine their procedures for general opening in Phase 3, here is a list of what you can expect going forward:

    • A very robust system of ongoing cleaning.
    • Traffic and flow patterns clearly marked.
    • You’ll see the staff in required levels of PPE.
    • A reservation system to assure they maintain capacity requirement.
    • Certain times of day where masks and face coverings will be required, and others where they will not be required.
    • Maintaining the virtual Group Fitness classes, at least through the summer, with possible exceptions for outdoor classes.
    • They will begin building a library of pre-recorded classes taught by popular instructors and available On Demand to meet their members’ scheduling needs.
    • Implementation of a system for maintaining physical distancing while still being able to access all of their equipment.
    • Removal of high touch point items (bands, tubing, blocks, etc.) for the time being.
    • Suspension of towel service for the foreseeable future.
    • Showers, lockers and steam rooms are currently mandated to remain closed.
    • Installation of a new digital lock system for their lockers when they are available for use.
    • Massage therapy will re-open mid-July with a limited menu of services, and in accordance with State and County guidelines to insure a safe and effective experience for both clients and therapists.
    • Our hours of operation may be modified initially.

Special Offer: The $199.00 joining fee will be waived for the first month after re-opening.

Island Fitness is located in the heart of Winslow at 190 Madison Avenue, Bainbridge Island, WA, 98110, phone: (206) 842-5720

*If you’re an island business and would like to share your story, please contact me via the “contact” link in this blog.

*Images and logos used with permission by Mac-N-Jacks and Island Fitness


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