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Axe-throwing (copy)

Happy Axe Throwing has announced a new location for large groups and parties on Madison's north side.

A hatchet-throwing business less than four months old is already expanding: Happy Axe Throwing will begin hosting large events and parties at a north side location this winter.

The space at 2024 Stoughton Rd. will in many ways look the same as the original business at 6624 Mineral Point Rd.: Customers take turns hurling hatchets at pinewood boards painted with concentric targets, either in the spirit of competition or simply to experience the satisfaction of burying the ax in wood.

The only difference will be in capacity and scope. The original space in the Clock Tower Mall is about 875 square feet, and can fit a maximum of 30 people at capacity. The new warehouse-like space is over 8,000 square feet, with a capacity to fit over 400.

Johnny Lee, a real estate agent who opened the first location in August after seeing axe-throwing venues pop up in other cities, said that business has been booming at the first location, with about 1,800 people visiting in the past four months. He’s started league nights on Mondays for those interested in the competitive side of axe-throwing — think darts, but with hatchets.

“I definitely didn’t think it would take off the way that it did,” he said.

The new location will be strictly for larger parties who otherwise couldn’t book Happy Axe due to the limited capacity, Lee said. Just in the past month, he said he’s had to turn down six companies that called him regarding corporate events.

“We’re just trying to fill the need of corporate companies and birthday parties who want to bring more than 30 people for an event,” said Lee.

For now, Lee said that they will not host regular customers at the new location, although that could change.

“If it’s going real well, and people are asking if they want to come through the second location, we might open it up,” he said.

The new space, like the original location, will be fairly bare bones, according to Lee. There will be the same wood-and-mesh structures to separate the throwing lanes — although Lee said the business was tinkering with some more portable cages — and not much else besides some tables. As with the first location, Lee said that there won’t be food or alcohol served.

“Companies say they’re not comfortable with (alcohol),” he said.

He did say that given the size, there will be more room for “hanging out.” He also added that the size of the space will give them flexibility to try things out in the future.

Lee said that the space is mostly ready to open, and that the company will likely begin hosting events within the month.

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Erik Lorenzsonn is the Capital Times' tech and culture reporter. He joined the team in 2016, after having served as an online editor for Wisconsin Public Radio and having written for publications like The Progressive Magazine and The Poughkeepsie Journal.