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Drink Beer and Throw Axes at This Canadian-Style Sports Bar Coming to DC

Kick Axe in Ivy City will have 12 axe ranges and "modern log cabin decor"

Photo via iStock

There are certain things you might think don’t go with drinking. Operating heavy machinery. Texting an ex. Throwing axes.

Kick Axe, a game and entertainment venue coming to Ivy City, isn’t too worried about that last one. It plans to offer axe-throwing and a bar.

“It’s very popular up in Canada, and they have hundreds of locations up there,” says Ginger Flesher-Sonnier, who’s behind the venture with husband Darren Sonnier (the duo also own Georgetown’s Escape Room Live). Axe-throwing has been catching on in the US in recent years, and the couple decided to open their own spot after first trying it in Philadelphia. 

The space will include 12 axe “ranges” with two targets each, plus lounge areas for corporate events or bachelorette festivities decorated with fireplaces and a “modern log cabin decor,” Flesher-Sonnier says. Bonus: you can borrow some plaid flannel, faux tattoo sleeves, or beards to fulfill your Paul Bunyan fantasies.

Other axe-throwing venues are BYOB or offer cans of beer, Flesher-Sonnier says. But Kick Axe appears to be one of the few with a full bar.

“You just don’t drink that much. You’re busy throwing and playing,” Flesher-Sonnier says. “It just makes it more relaxed and fun.”

As a safety precaution, though, patrons will be limited to two drinks per hour-and-a-half axe-throwing session, and staff will monitor to make sure no one is too intoxicated. In fact, all of the “ax-perts” will be TIPS certified, meaning they’re trained to look out for over-drinking, underage drinking, and drunk driving. Hard liquor isn’t allowed on the actual range.

Among the other rules: Only two people will be allowed on each range at any given time. Instead of handing off axes to each other, you will place them in a stump to transfer the tools. You must wear closed-toe shoes. And no, you can not bring your own axe.

Flesher-Sonnier says they’ll use smaller camp hatchets that aren’t super sharp. “The duller ones work better,” she says. “You will not be able to cut yourself just by handling the axe.”

Downstairs in the 20,000 square-foot complex is another game area called Throw Social. They’ll have footbowling, where you throw footballs at bowling pins, as well as rootball, a horseshoes-type game that involves a frisbee disc and koosh balls. There will be leagues for all these sports, as well as the axe-throwing.

Throw Social will also have a full bar and lounge, similar to actress Susan Sarandon‘s ping pong bar SPiN, which has locations around the country. The place won’t serve its own food, but it will offer delivery from nearby restaurants, and guests are welcome to bring their own grub. Expect food trucks parked out front as well.

Kick Axe is slated to open in early 2018. Another location will debut in Brooklyn, New York this December.

Kick Axe. 1401 Okie St., NE. 

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.