New business encourages patrons to throw axes

Urban Axes, a new downtown Durham bar, will open this summer. And it has a remarkably different twist - competitive axe throwing.
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Urban Axes, a new downtown Durham bar, will open this summer. And it has a remarkably different twist - competitive axe throwing.
By

Business

A place for ax throwing and beer drinking is coming to downtown Durham

By Zachery Eanes

zeanes@heraldsun.com

February 22, 2018 12:01 AM

DURHAM

If you’ve been longing for a place to throw an ax and drink a beer in Durham – all in the same setting – you won’t have to wait much longer.

Urban Axes, a national chain that lets patrons throw axes at targets, will open its fifth location, this one in downtown Durham, this summer. The company will move into a 12,000-square-foot space at 619 Foster St., an old warehouse building that will also be the home of Boxcar Bar + Arcade.

Urban Axes started in Philadelphia in 2016 and has since expanded to Boston, Baltimore and Austin, Texas. The company says it will be opening in an additional six to eight cities this year.

The concept is similar to darts, said company spokeswoman Courtney Osgood, with patrons tasked with hitting targets with axes for points. The company often hosts ax-throwing competitions at their multiple locations.

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While prices haven’t been set yet for the Durham market, it typically costs $35 for a person to use one of the “arenas” for ax throwing.

The Durham space will be big enough to host 200 ax throwers, and the company is expected to hire 10 to 20 employees.

While individuals can come and casually throw axes and then grab a drink, Osgood said the concept has been especially popular for group events from companies and universities.

For those concerned about the obvious safety ramifications of mixing alcohol and ax throwing, no alcohol is allowed in the ax-throwing section of the building, and you have to be at least 21 to use the facilities.

Additionally, an ax-throwing expert – which the company titles “axperts” – must give everyone a tutorial before they are allowed to throw. The axperts also have to be present in the arena when a group or individual is throwing.

Osgood said the company chose the Foster Street location because it’s in a walkable part of the city with other entertainment nearby. That part of downtown is also home to several bars, such as such as Motorco, Fullsteam Brewery and Surf Club.

Osgood added that Urban Axes is attracted to areas with a concentration of craft breweries – something the Triangle has an abundance of.

Zachery Eanes: 919-419-6684, @zeanes