Restaurant News & Reviews

Throw an ax, have a beer: SmartAxe bar opening in Rancho Cordova this month

Take a peek inside new ax-throwing bar opening in Rancho Cordova

Doug Link, owner of Smart Axe Sacramento demonstrates ax-throwing, Thursday, June 13, 2019, at new bar opening soon in Rancho Cordova.
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Doug Link, owner of Smart Axe Sacramento demonstrates ax-throwing, Thursday, June 13, 2019, at new bar opening soon in Rancho Cordova.

An ax-throwing bar is coming to Rancho Cordova later this month with the grand opening of SmartAxe at 11151 Trade Center Drive.

Patrons can reserve lanes or walk in to toss axes – provided by SmartAxe – at 26 lumber targets.

Anyone age 12 and up is welcome to throw after a preliminary safety instruction session. Staff will be nearby to ensure safety while axes are in the air.

Owner Doug Link said patrons can throw in groups of up to eight people in a handful of score-based competitions – which he described as somewhere between darts and bowling – and will be able to form leagues.

Link got the idea for SmartAxe when a friend took him to an ax-throwing venue in New York last year, he said. He had never been to one before, but it was packed on a Wednesday afternoon, and he had a blast, too.

Link started drawing up plans for SmartAxe on the way home and has been in business since November, he said.

Although ax-throwing is becoming something of a phenomenon, Link said the market is still young on the West Coast and growing fast, so it’s a good time to open up SmartAxe locally.

“In a year these things have just exploded,” he said.

The closest ax-throwing venues to Sacramento are in Daly City and Stateline, Nev.

SmartAxe will serve largely local beers, plus wine and simple food like sausage, pizza, chicken strips and soups, Link said.

The 7,200-square-foot venue is the site of the now-defunct Ol’ Republic Brewery, which closed its doors in April. The facility can hold about 100 ax-throwers at a time and it can host private events, Link said.

Link said he plans to open by the end of the month and hire about 25 part-time employees, or “axeperts.”

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Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.
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