Move over billiards and darts, there’s a new game in town, and its future looks sharp. Bellingham Axe, a new axe-throwing venue in downtown Bellingham, allows people to come in and release their inner warrior.
Matt Kinney is the man behind Bellingham Axe. Kinney, , who grew up in Seattle but moved to Bellingham in 1996 , got the idea to bring this new venture to Bellingham after going to an axe bar in Seattle. “My brother got us a couple lanes down there, we threw some axes and had a blast….I thought to myself, Bellingham needs something like this.”
Bellingham Axe is located at 1414 Cornwall, next to Bellingham Bar and Grill. As you head downstairs, you’ll likely hear music, excited patrons, and the thud of blades sticking into wooden targets. At the host stand you’ll find snacks and beverages available for purchase, along with a range of Bellingham Axe merchandise.
From there, guests can check in, sign a waiver (hey, it is axe throwing, after all), and receive a “lane,” much like with bowling… but instead of hurling a ball down the lane to knock over pins, you hurl a hatchet at a wooden target marked with a bullseye and various point values. All axe-throwing venues have experts on hand to offer instruction (there’s more than one correct technique, apparently). Those interested in standardized axe-throwing leagues can also learn the formal rules.
The idea for axe throwing venues originated in Toronto, after a man named Matt Wilson spent some quality time with an axe, a tree, and some beer. Wilson founded the Backyard Axe Throwing League (BATL) in 2006. The BATL spread axe-throwing venues through Ontario. In 2016, Wilson established the International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF). The IATF continues to grow in popularity, and now holds an annual championship with standardized rules and regulations, with Olympic aspirations on the horizon.
Though Bellingham Axe is still considered an axe “bar”, alcohol will not be served inside the venue. The combination of alcohol and handling sharp objects is a concern as well as a liability; due to Washington’s liquor laws, Kinney was not able to obtain a liquor permit. However, the main floor of the building is currently unoccupied, and Kinney hopes someone will use the space to open a bar or restaurant.
￼“People in Bellingham are looking for something new,” Kinney says. “Going out for this generation is more about unique experiences.” Kinney sees Bellingham Axe as an ideal spot to￼ host private parties and events. “Birthday parties, company team building, bachelorette outings, and even divorce parties will all be held here.”
Bellingham Axe will also ￼host league nights, where teams can take on fellow blade hurlers. ￼Kids ages eight and up will be allowed to try their hand at axe throwing, provided they have parental consent and supervision.
After everything we’ve been through this year, we may need an option like Bellingham Axe now more than ever. It’s somewhere people can let off some steam, de-stress, and have a fun time with friends.
1414 Cornwall Avenue, Unit 100, 360.603.9606, bellinghamaxe.com
For more like this, check out our Life section here.