by TJ AndersonThis prediction from Dwell magazine, from late last year, just made its way into my Facebook feed: “Step Aside, Subway Tile — Penny Tile Is the New Classic.” Penny tile,
Nashville Might Be Becoming An Axe Throwing Hotbed
by TJ Anderson
On the cultural spectrum, Nashville has an astoundingly broad mix to offer — the run of fun honky-tonks on lower Broadway, a world-class Symphony, a top-notch dining scene, a killer hockey team… however high or low your brow tends to go, Nashville can offer something interesting, enlightening or just plain entertaining.
That said, I was still taken by surprise by our recent uptick in axe-throwing options here in Nashville.
Just last week, Strategic Hospitality announced plans for a new downtown Nashville venue, The Downtown Sporting Club, set to include an all-day restaurant, retail space, lodging and a second-floor Rec Room, with multiple axe-throwing lanes built in.
It’ll be a while before we’re tipping back cocktails and hurling chopping tools across the room — Eater Nashville says The Downtown Sporting Club isn’t expected to open until early 2019. But the fact that axe-play is part of this high-profile new addition to downtown Nashville definitely says something.
It won’t be the first Nashville hub for axe-throwing. Earlier this year, BATL Nashville — a local chapter of the national “Backyard Axe Throwing League” brand — cropped up in East Nashville, at 1302 Gallatin Ave. AxeVentures does their thing across from Opryland Hotel in Donelson, too.
It likely won’t be alone as a newcomer, either. Class Axe reportedly has a Nashville location on the way too.
‘The latest craze’
If your initial reaction to combining full pints and heavy weapons was a little “huh?” too, you wouldn’t be alone. But I’m sure not ready to bet against the Strategic Hospitality team.
Led by Nashville hospitality vets Benjamin and Max Goldberg, that company doesn’t make reckless plays, and their track record makes that plenty clear. Among the many Strategic Hospitality creations: downtown dining/bowling/swimming space Pinewood Social; speakeasy The Patterson House, which helped drive cocktail culture forward in Nashville; and high-end restaurant The Catbird Seat, named one of the top 5 new restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit in 2012.
Once again, the Goldbergs and their team seem to be responding to excitement that’s bubbling up. According to NBC News, axe throwing is “the latest craze” — a sport that’s long been popular in Canada, but that’s now really getting off the ground across the world, and especially in the United States.
If you’ve never done it, the basics: You’re generally in a slightly dressed-up warehouse, with axe-throwing lanes separated by fencing, all leading to wooden targets. Axes and training are provided, and like all target sports, you get points for accuracy.
“The beauty of the new urban axe throwing facilities popping up around the country is that they are accessible, social and as low-key or ramped up as you want them to be,” NBC says. “Think of them as an updated — and far hipper — version of the 1970s bowling alley.”
Curious about what axe throwing is like? The BATL homepage is a good place to start — they're featured in the video up top, which offers a peek into their Toronto location and how it came to be.
You can also book time at the East Nashville BATL location, open seven days a week, with leagues going Sunday through Wednesday. Private axe-throwing events run one to 2 1/2-hours, and cost about $41 (with discounted admission on Tuesdays).
Read more about Strategic Hospitality’s plans for The Downtown Sporting Club at Eater Nashville, too.
Not ready to start throwing axes, but definitely ready to start househunting in Nashville? That’s a little more my specialty. Check out some Nashville homes for sale here, and call or email TJ Anderson Homes for more.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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