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August 23, 2018 / Miami Herald / Carl Juste

Miami’s getting an axe-throwing bar and lounge, complete with batting cage-style lanes

Following in the footsteps of two other South Florida businesses that are tapping into the burgeoning axe-throwing market, a new Miami establishment will set up shop in early September as the city’s first axe-themed bar and lounge.

EXTREMEAXE, located at 540 North Miami Ave., will feature five batting-cage-style lanes equipped with wooden targets and separated by metal fencing, along with a bar that serves beer and wine. Two of the lanes feature interactive targets projected onto the wall.

The scoring is similar to darts, with different spots on the wooden boards worth varying values.

Lounge “axe-perts,” as they are ubiquitously called across the country, teach participants how to handle the sharp weapons and make sure proper safety protocols are being followed. Those include limiting participants, who will be tagged with a red wristband, to one single drink prior to their session. Spectators, and participants whose sessions have ended, will be permitted to drink as much as they want.

That way, says company CEO Evgeny Alexeev, alcohol-fueled accidents will be limited and families with younger children will feel at ease.

Evgeny Alexeev: “We don’t want to take a chance. You can’t be drunk…. After [more than] one glass of beer, you cannot throw.”

The second-story lounge will be accompanied by an escape room — a physical adventure game in which participants solve puzzles to escape a locked room — next door also operated by Alexeev and his business partner, Quincy Bey. The escape room, dubbed Boxroom Escape Games, is the second such business operated by the entrepreneurs. The flagship store is located in Hollywood.

The axe-throwing lounge’s Sept. 1 opening day comes around the same time as Chops and Hops Throwing Lounge in Fort Lauderdale and Axe Throwing Society in Pompano Beach plan to open their doors.

Pricing at EXTREMEAXE will range from $20 for individual walk-ins booking a one-hour session and $35 per person in groups of six or more people booking 90-minute private sessions occupying a full lane. That’s about on par with pricing at Chops and Hops ($35 per group member for 90 minutes) and Axe Throwing Society ($20 for walk-ins and $35 per group member).

Bey, the president and general manager of EXTREMEAXE, said what separates the Miami axe-throwing iteration from its counterparts are the interactive targets, which are easier to hit than traditional targets and allow participants to feel more immersed in their sessions, and the accompanying escape room.

The company’s team of in-house engineers developed the games projected onto the targets, which are cut into nearly 60 squares as opposed to sliced vertically in a handful of slabs.

Quincy Bey: “We have target technology that will separate us from the others. EXTREMEAXE is the bridge that crosses over from ordinary to extraordinary.”

Axe-throwing, which originated in Canadian logging competitions, has seen a recent growth spurt in popularity. Just this year, New York City’s first axe-throwing bar opened up, and in December, the World Axe-Throwing League, to which EXTREME AXE and its South Florida neighbors belong, held its first world championship tournament. Several axe-throwing businesses have popped up elsewhere in Florida this year.

Quincy Bey: “A lot of times we were taught not to play with sharp objects. We redefined that and made it fun.”

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Carl Juste