Capitol Hill’s axe throwing bar will finally be a bar. The state liquor board has finally approved Blade and Timber’s application ending years of back and forth between the venue and officials over allowing participants to purchase alcohol at the Broadway venue.
It’s a historic moment, the company says, for beer and axes.
“This victory marks the first time in Washington state’s history to grant a designated axe throwing venue approval to serve alcohol while patrons throw axes,” a release on the approval reads.
Blade and Timber is calling the approval a “pilot” and says sales under its new snack bar liquor license can begin Friday:
The venue will be the first axe throwing experience in the state to pilot serving beer. The approach includes a multitude of measures to prioritize guest safety above all. Safety measures include restricting guests 21 years or older to two beers during their 90-minute axe throwing session. Further, guests are trained by certified staff prior to handling an axe and will throw in fully enclosed lanes.
The decision is a triumph for axe tossers looking to unwind and internet commenters across Capitol Hill who take joy in pointing out the inherent hilarious danger of mixing the throwing of sharp items with liquor. It will also help the Blade and Timber chain continue to operate in Seattle.
CHS reported on the situation in October as the Kansas-based company renewed its fight after the company said the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board was again pushing back on approving the license over safety concerns.
CHS first reported on the battle over blades and booze at the beginning of summer 2019 as the axe tossing hangout faced its first steps on the way to rejection from the board. Over the next year, Blade and Timber prepared reports to accompany its “alcohol control plan” — “No Alcohol Allowed in Axe Throwing Lanes,” reads rule 4 — and decided to try again with an application for a snack bar level license that would allow the Broadway location to serve beer and wine to patrons as it reopened following a temporary closure during COVID-19 restrictions. It included a three-page document listing the “alcohol status” of “axe throwing facilities” across the country.
A few dozens including Portland Axe Throwing serve alcohol and many more are “BYOB.” Meanwhile, venues involving the tossing of heavy balls at wooden pins like the Garage — now owned by bowling giant Bowlero — are allowed to serve booze.
At Broadway’s Blade and Timber, finally being able to add beer and wine should help boost sales as the location transitions from reduced capacity and COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.
“We have three years of experience operating axe throwing venues across the country that have safely hosted more than 100,000 guests while serving alcoholic beverages,” CEO Matt Baysinger said. “We are incredibly proud and excited to demonstrate how we will do so successfully in Seattle beginning this week.”