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The axe-throwing bar craze is spreading across the United States like a wayward axe throw.

Mike Pomranz
December 07, 2017

Plenty of games have become bar standards: Darts, pool and table shuffleboard are all common sights. Some bowling alleys are just as focused on good brews as they are on strikes and spares. But though darts are sharp, bowling lanes slippery and pool balls prone to occasionally fly towards a player’s crotch, for the most part, all these games are relatively safe. And by relatively, we’re specifically talking relative to an increasingly popular new bar activity: axe throwing.

One of the newest members to America’s axe-throwing bar scene will be located in the Lucky Dill Deli in Charleston, West Virginia. The six-month-old sandwich shop is planning to expand with an addition its calling “Axes and Ales,” a new craft beer destination that’s also being billed as “West Virginia’s first indoor axe-throwing range,” according to local news network WSAZ. Set to open, on December 14, the new area within the sandwich shop promises locally made craft beers and wine as well as five ax-throwing courts. “Anytime you have something different, people's gonna want to try it,” said owner Chadrick Harper.

If it all sounds like a potentially troublesome combination, Harper is totally with you. “We're here to have fun, but we're also here to be safe,” he told WSAZ. “We really tried to think of every measure to really make people feel at ease and comfortable.” That includes a number of safety measures: All axe-throwers much go through a safety training session, a projector tells players precisely when to throw and retrieve their axes, and unbreakable Plexiglas separates all five courts.

“I think people here in West Virginia will really like it,” Harper said. So are people in other states. Around this time last year, CNN ran a headline proclaiming, “Ax throwing: The new bar sport,” and a number of axe-throwing chains (not all of which serve alcohol) are increasingly opening locations across the United States. So much for your wimpy dart set.

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