You might soon be able to throw axes while drinking a beer in Somerville
Source: Boston Globe
By Jaclyn Reiss
JANUARY 11, 2018
If you ever wanted to throw an ax at a big wooden target while drinking a nice, cold beer, then you might soon have your wish.
Urban Axes, a competitive indoor ax-throwing business that opened its first location in Philadelphia in 2016, plans to open a location in Somerville’s Union Square this summer.
The company had been considering opening a new branch in Boston, but ultimately settled on ultra-hip Somerville, although the exact location is currently being kept under wraps.
“We looked all around Boston, but we really liked the vibe of Somerville and thought it went well with the overall brand of Urban Axes,” Courtney Osgood, a company representative, told the Globe on Thursday.
The ax-throwing bar in Somerville also plans to serve wine and beer – something that, combined with sharp objects hurtling through the air, might give many pause.
The owner of Philadelphia’s Urban Axes says he wants to open a location in Boston, although he’s concerned about getting a liquor license.
But Osgood says it shouldn’t.
“This is really more about having an adult experience. If want to have a beer, great,” she said. “What we’ve found is that people are more interested in doing well, and you can’t do well if you’re hammered.”
Urban Axes doesn’t have a liquor license secured yet for the Somerville location, but Osgood said that “everything is being worked out now.”
A city representative said the licensing commission received an inquiry from the company about getting such a license in August 2017, but that an application has yet to be submitted.
“If an application is received it would be put before the Licensing Commission like all others, and the public would have the opportunity to voice their concern or support for the application during a public hearing,” the representative said.
Of course, it’s not like anyone can just stride in and start lobbing axes around. Those hoping to participate are first trained by one of the company’s “axepert” before they can start pitching axes across a room, Osgood said: “You can’t just come in and toss axes by yourself.”
Currently, the Somerville location – which will likely have a maximum capacity of 80 to 100 people – is hoping to offer three to four different “arenas,” each of which would host four wooden targets.
“The whole space in general will offer walk-ins, group events, parties, and corporate outings,” Osgood said.
Wait. Corporate outings?
“Oh my God, it’s crazy,” Osgood said with a laugh, adding that the bar has hosted companies like Google, Facebook, Bank of America, and even members of the Philadelphia Eagles organization at other locations. “It’s such a great experience. . . . Would you rather do that or have cocktails and just stand around?”
The price for picking up an ax in Somerville has not yet been set. However, the business charges $20 per hour for walk-ins at other locations, while group events run $35 per person for 2½ hours. The group-based bookings usually involve some sort of tournament, with a winner slicing through to the top.
Boston has been close to the company’s heart for a while. Two of the four co-owners used to live in the area, Osgood said, and planting an ax in the region has been on the company’s list for a while, she said.
Urban Axes has locations in Philadelphia and Austin, and plans to open a Baltimore branch in March. Altogether, including Baltimore and Boston, the company plans to open eight new locations this year nationwide, though Osgood was coy about specifically where.
“We have big plans for 2018,” she said.
The news of Urban Axes’ new Somerville location was first reported by Eater Boston and BizBash.