Picture this: You just had the worst day ever. You failed a test, you had a fight with your roommate and you still haven’t heard back about that internship. So, to take the edge off, you go to a place where you can have a beer or two and throw an axe to cool off.
Craft Axe Throwing, which opened the doors of its Columbia location in the Vista at the end of January, is quickly gaining popularity because of its unusual concept.
"The idea of axe throwing and drinking kind of sounds counterintuitive, but I mean, it works really well," manager Eugene Taylor said.
Groups ranging from pairs to 50 people have come in to enjoy this more high-stakes version of darts.
While some might view axe throwing as a risky activity, employee take necessary precautions to make sure everyone is safe, Taylor said.
Getting started is easy. First, participants are required to sign a waiver for legal purposes. Then an instructor demonstrates the best and safest way to throw and participants are set free to throw axes. Workers at Craft Axe Throwing also monitor guests to make sure everyone is following the rules and guidelines.
Customers can go to casually throw with friends or even make it a competition. There is a giant dartboard-like target, and the closer throwers get to the bull's-eye, the more points are earned.
“Honestly most people just usually come in and you know they kind of relax and have a good time. So they’ll come in, have one or two beers while they’re throwing," Taylor said.
The bar, which offers beer, wine and cider, also carries a few beers from South Carolina breweries such as Columbia's River Rat Brewery, Charleston's Palmetto Brewing Company and Greenville's Birds Fly South Ale Project.
Taylor described axe throwing as the perfect combination of darts and bowling and said it's a great activity for any occasion.
“For Valentine's Day we actually booked up and sold out, and it was nothing but couples. So, it’s a great date night if you want something different," Taylor said.
It is recommended that participants make a reservation online before arriving, but walk-ins are always welcome, Taylor said. Last month they had to turn people away because they were completely full, he said.
Wednesday nights are Craft Axe Throwing’s College Nights. Any college student with a current school ID can come in from 7-9 p.m. and throw for $15 per hour.