A new attraction entering Topeka's future entertainment scene is a recreational activity called axe throwing. Remove the image of a burly and flannel adorned lumberjack from your mind and replace it with you and your friends living it up and toasting to a good time.
This image will become reality as soon as the throwing bar Axe and Ale comes to downtown Topeka later this summer.
“There are five partners, three born and raised Topekans,” said part-owner Tom Cox. “It started as a lake house conversation last labor day between my brother, my uncle and myself. My uncle said how Topeka needs an axe throwing bar, and it needs to be downtown. I have some friends who have opened a few and know a lot about how they run it behind the scenes, and the idea turned into a conversation where we were developing a business plan. Four months later, the lease was signed and construction started!”
With axe throwing being a relatively new community crowd-pleaser, Axe and Ale wants to offer something unique.
“We have three major things going for us,” said Tom. “We will be the only axe throwing location downtown. We are the only axe throwing bar in town; we plan to have sixteen beers on tap along with many more bottles, cans and wine. And thirdly, we will be right off the new Evergy Plaza where people can come in and out to grab a drink and hang out in the bar area while watching some people throw axes.”
As Topeka natives, the staff and ownership behind Axe and Ale look forward to joining the Topeka business community.
“We plan on joining the Topeka Chamber of Commerce,” said Tom. “We have been working with the Downtown Topeka Partnership from the beginning of this venture and plan to stay very engaged with the community as a whole. We want to help make downtown Topeka as great as it can possibly be.”
Developing a business mid-pandemic has been challenging but nothing that Axe and Ale couldn’t face.
“We were planning for a May opening, but when the pandemic hit, we slowed down construction until we had a better sense of when things would open back up,” said part-owner Reid Cox. “We didn't want to sink all of this money and time into a building that would potentially remain closed for six months after. But it was also a great learning experience, and we found that working with the state and city governments getting permits and approval was very smooth despite the shutdowns.”
While Axe and Ale is a bar, individuals as young as 12 are welcome to come throw; those 18 and under will need to be accompanied by their legal guardian. Age appropriate drinks and a limited selection of food will be offered, but patrons are allowed to bring in their own food as well.
“What’s more exciting than throwing axes with your friends indoors and not getting in trouble,” prompted Reid. “It really is a great activity that is fun, you can be competitive about, and still be social.”
To keep updated on Axe and Ale’s opening progress, visit their website or their Facebook page @axeandaletopeka. For interest in applying to work at Axe and Ale, contact Tom Cox by email at email@example.com.
Edited by Hannah Alleyne, Shelby Spradling