Axeville Throwing Club prepares to open in Asheville


Ryan McClenny works on an axe-throwing lane at the new Axeville Throwing Club opening soon on New Leicester Highway./ photo by Jason Sandford

Glen Merchant, Amy Zimmermann and Ryan McClenny hear the same joking question over and over: who thought it was a good idea to let people throw hatchets in a bar?

The three co-owners of Axeville Throwing Club are quick to answer: their emphasis is on safety first and foremost, with Axeville as a destination to enjoy the art of throwing axes.

Yes, there will be beer taps, a lounge area and a fun photo-op station complete with fake beards and axes. But the entrepreneurs say they’ve done everything they can to be sure patrons will have danger-free fun along Axeville’s 12 throwing lanes.

“We’re not serving liquor. We’re not going to be open until 2 a.m. There’s fencing around every throwing lane. We’ve done our homework,” says Merchant.

Anticipation has been building since last year, when the Axeville crew opened social media accounts and announced their location in the former Xcapades topless bar – information that set off another wave of joking, as well as a perfect hashtag: #axecapades. (Axeville is located at 99 New Leicester Highway, about half a mile from the road’s intersection with Patton Avenue.)

Merchant, Zimmermann and McClenny have been working ever since to remake the space into a comfy space. The group faced a number of permitting and construction issues that have slowed them down. In addition to that, the crew has been holding down day jobs. Merchant does IT work for a local travel company, while McClenny is a senior production scheduler at Manual Woodworkers. Zimmermann’s extensive work experience is in special event production and social media marketing.

Axeville Throwing Club, opening soon in Asheville. /photo courtesy of Axeville Throwing Club

“We’ve been busting our butts to get open,” Merchant sums up.

The current scheduled date to be open to the public is the second week of March.

The art of the axe is the club’s major focus. The Axeville crew envisions leagues that play according to national axe-throwing competition rules. Skills competitions will also be in the mix. “As soon as you hear that first thunk, you’re hooked,” McClenny says.

But folks just interested in watching, socializing or hanging out will also find friendly confines at Axeville, according to Merchant, Zimmermann and McClenny. And they’re already fielding calls for bachelor and bachelorette parties, c

There won’t be any food preparation happening on site, but Merchant says they’ve been talking with next-door neighbor, Dan Silo, the chef and founder of Sawhorse restaurant, about providing some food. (That restaurant is the new name of the former Leicester Family Restaurant.)

It’s been a long road for the eager entrepreneurs, and they’re ready to embrace just-as-eager fans.

“We just want to thank everyone for their patience,” Merchant says. “We’ll make it worth their wait.

1 Comment

Chris February 21, 2019 - 4:39 pm

Did this in another town. It’s incredibly fun and satisfying. Looking forward to this opening… Not sure that having beers is going to be a good idea though…

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