It’s Thursday night, you just finished watching a 16-hour GOT marathon and you have absolutely nothing to do with yourself. You half believe you’re a warlord who could smite every person driving slow through the squirrel hill tunnels, and for some reason, you want to throw on a tunic and take up blacksmithing to forge weaponry for your next battle. Well, unfortunately you live in an apartment that complains when your cat, Snuffles, gets too rowdy on catnip, there’s no weapon-making happening anytime soon. You need a release. Enter LumberjAxes, and their newest offering, Cosmic Axe Throwing.
That’s right, for only a few pence, you can throw axes, in the dark, with minimal risk of sending 3-5 of your closet friends to the ER.
Pittsburgh’s first axe throwing venue is nestled in Millvale, PA just north of Pittsburgh in a shanty-style warehouse with the outer shell of a Lumberjack crossfit gym, and lots of character on the inside. After the obligatory signing of liability waiver (because axes), you’re assigned to a lane and coach. The venue is BYOB, so the odds of an enjoyable evening increase whether you’re good at medieval wielding or not. For safety, they do not allow hard liquor, and guests can drink one beer per hour.
Your axe-throwing Sherpa/coach spends some time training you on proper form, after which they set you free to throw fluorescent axes at wood, standing by the whole time to offer advice, score-keeping, support, and medical attention (mostly not true).
Throwing an axe is an acquired taste, but once you get a handle on it (insert pun), it’s easy to channel your inner baby Thor. Fair warning, you will sweat, alot. We would advise comfortable clothing. And another warning: you may be moving your body in ways you’re not designed to (because donuts), so be prepared for maximum public awkwardness, and post axe-throwing soreness.
Alecia McKee, an axe-throwing coach at LumberjAxes, says the axe throwing mechanics don’t change because the lights are out, but the atmospheric polarity is a welcoming experience.
“Everything kind of stays the same,” she says, “and I like watching all the way down the lanes. It changes the atmosphere of this place completely.”
It’s incredibly difficult to deliver an experience that people will remember, let alone become repeat customers of your business. The experiential nature of humans will always get them through the door to see “what’s what”, but a true immersive environment will keep them coming back. LumberjAxes scratches that itch, mostly.
I don’t know if cosmic axes is an every week activity, but the woodsy bowling alley/gun range vibe provides a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for a group of wannabe warlords to enjoy themselves. As an added bonus, much like when bowling with friends, you get to turn around after your throw and either raise your hands in victory, or shrug your shoulders in embarrassment and avoid eye contact with your brethren.
Cosmic Axes runs Tuesday and Thursday evenings, but don’t fret, they host a “lights-on” axe-throwing experience for parties, special tournaments, or general admission during the rest of the week, and weekend. In addition to BYOB, it’s also BYOF, so guests can bring food or order in; so grab a pizza, or bring ye turkey leg and a goblet of your finest Zima.
For more information on LumberjAxes, visit them online