Bull's-Eye: A Popular Bar Activity Spreads from Ferndale to Corktown This Fall


June 15, 2019, 1:38 PM

An 18-month-old Ferndale recreation bar that packs 'em in regularly is ready to expand.

"Owners of Detroit Axe in Ferndale will swing into Detroit's Corktown neighborhood and Clinton Township" by October, Kurt Nagl reports at Crain's Detroit Business.


"It's all about the thunk." (Photo: Facebook)

The business, which mixes alcoholic refreshments with ax-tossing lanes and a vast array of classic board games, is about to renovate a 7,000-square-foot leased storefront at 1375 Michigan Ave., co-owner Brian Siegel tell the reporter. He and business partner Geoff Kretchmer also are expanding to a smaller spot at the Mall of Partridge Creek in Clinton Township.

Corktown's newcomer opposite Nemo's will have 16 ax-throwing lanes, separtated by steel-mush fencing. It also promises hundreds of classic board games.

"In addition, there are plans to have ski ball, pinball, bumper pool, shuffleboard and a giant Lite-Brite game," Nagl writes in his scoop.

Detroit Ax describes the main activity's appeal this way: "It’s all about the thunk!! The feeling of planting an axe into the wood target is exhilarating." (Its one-minute video is below, followed by one with throwing tips.)

Crain's addresses the obvious issue posed by throwing sharp-edged where beer and booze flows:

Employees monitor who wields the axes, with a strict rule of only one drink per hour for participants. There are also several "ax masters" watching out for bad behavior. . . .

"Statistically, it's safer than driving your car to get here . . . or playing golf," Siegel said.

Still, marketing hooks include the phrase "Detroit Axe -- life on the edge."

The flagship site at 344 W. 9 Mile has 12 lanes. Groups of six or more can reserve a lane for two hours, and walk-ins can get a lane for an hour if one is free. "You may end up throwing with other walk-in throwers," Detroit Axe posts. Leagues sanctioned by the National Ax-Throwing Federation, a three-year-old thing, run for eight weeks and throw on Wednesday and Sunday nights.

It's shelves of 500 games from past decades include Simon, Parcheesi, Risk, Scrabble, Bed-Wed-Dead, The Cure, Beat the Clock, Perfection, War of the Ring, Go to the Head of the Class, Chutes & Ladders, Sorry, Trouble, Aggravation, Battleship, Stoned Drunk, Lisboa, Transforming Mars, Tilight Imperium, Power Grid, Transforming Mars, Ticket to Ride, King of New York and Mysterium. There also are video games. 


Read more:  Crain's Detroit Business


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