Bad medicine ball

When a CrossFit gym and a Thai restaurant share a common wall, noises ensue

Illustration by Mark Stivers

The small strip mall at Broadway and Riverside boulevards hosts five commercial tenants. For two of those tenants, there’s a bad case of business-model incompatibility.

Thai Farm House BBQ & Bistro and TriPark Strength and Conditioning are next-door neighbors. TriPark runs CrossFit workouts that frequently lob heavy medicine balls at a wall they share with Thai Farm, which made James McRitchie’s dinner experience at Thai Farm in May an abnormal one, replete with the secondhand effects of the exercise.

“I was eating at the restaurant and happened to notice that everyone was sitting on one side of the room,” McRitchie said. “I thought, that’s kind of odd.”

He and his wife sat along the shared wall, and it wasn’t long before they were disrupted.

“Every minute or so, there was a thump against the wall,” he said. “So I went next door and looked, and they’re throwing a medicine ball against the wall.”

McRitchie talked to TriPark management and even recorded a video of his encounter, where he suggested that the exercise balls could be thrown against a different wall.

To be fair, it’s not a quiet thump—it sounds more like someone whacking the wall with a sledgehammer. The continuous noise even sparked conversation between TriPark co-owner Sean Powers and Brad Sandoval, owner of Thai Farm.

“They have toned it down quite a bit,” Sandoval said. “They said they’ll try to keep the noise down, and they have.”

Sandoval stressed that he has a good relationship with the owners of TriPark, and he wants to keep it that way.

Still, the vibrations can be disruptive. Ice Promke, who works at Thai Farm and is married to Sandoval, reiterated that they don’t want to stir up trouble, but there are distractions when working next to the gym.

“The pots in the back sometimes fall down,” Promke said, who added that when the couple visited the site before leasing, they didn’t experience the noises.

It’s a tough situation, Powers said, but using another wall isn’t feasible and he’s installed sound-absorbent plates to mitigate the noise.

“We stipulated in the lease that we would be making noise on the walls and playing music,” Powers said. “In all honesty, we’ve done our best to assuage any issues. We don’t have to quiet ourselves, but we do our best to meet halfway.”

Thai Farm has been in business for almost a year, and Sandoval said they’re not going anywhere. Yet, there’s no simple solution that leaves all parties content.

“I don’t want to make a huge deal about it,” Sandoval said. “But I’m not sure what to do.