An ax-throwing entertainment complex is scheduled to open in White Township later this month.
“The Axperience,” 1228 Wayne Ave., will give customers a chance to test their skills by hurling axes at wooden targets, with a focus on the bull’s-eye.
“Indiana doesn’t have a whole lot of entertainment, so I think it will be a fun business,” owner Jon Finzen said.
“Our goal (is) to shake up the area’s entertainment and to expand your skills by leaving your comfort zone and getting into the throwing lane.”
Finzen plans to hold a soft opening July 23, with a grand opening set for Aug. 10.
The complex will feature 10 throwing lanes, he said in a flier promoting his business.
“(It’s) the perfect opportunity to participate in open play, host a party or join a league,” Finzen said. “Membership with the World Axe Throwing League adds a valuable layer of organization and structure that sets the complex apart from regional competitors.
“It’s a great place for anyone 16 years and older to have a fun time. Those with a willingness to learn and a focus on safety are invited to play, regardless of prior experience with the sport. Experienced staff members will be there to help you every step of the way.”
While combining alcohol and ax throwing might not sound like a particularly good idea, Finzen believes it is a fun way to spend time with family and friends in a controlled environment.
“Our relaxed environment allows guests to bring their own food and beverages — beer, mead and wine are welcome for those 21 and up,” he said.
“You may have an occasional ax that bounces back off the target. You have to tell people to wait until it comes to a stop before they go after it. Not to mention if someone is throwing beside you, you have to wait for them to throw before you go down there to get the ax.”
Although ax throwing has been around for centuries, the first such bar didn’t open in North America until 2011 in Toronto.
Finzen was born in Iowa, spent time in the military and relocated to the Indiana area a dozen years ago for a job in the oil and gas industry.
He got the idea of opening an ax-throwing venue after participating in a league in Westmoreland County.
“I liked it so much it’s about to become my full-time occupation,” he said.
Finzen intends to be open Monday by appointment only; Tuesday to Thursday, noon to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to midnight; and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.
Pricing includes: $15 per person per game, Tuesday and Wednesday; and $20 per person per game, Thursday to Sunday. Other pricing has been set for longer sessions and for league play.
“Ax throwing is a great way to pre-game a night out or an alternative to bar-hopping altogether,” Finzen said. “The Axperience (is) the perfect place to hang out. Closed-toed shoes are required, but otherwise wear whatever makes you happy.
“Neighbors, friends, IUP students, family and complete strangers will leave with a sense of community as a result of such an exciting shared experience.”