Photo By Deb Gau
Jett Wing, owner of Wings Axe Company, demonstrated a technique for an underhand style of axe throwing for Saul Calderon and Evan St. Martin on Saturday. Wings Axe Company features lanes for throwing axes, as well as a bar and food like pizzas and chicken wings.
MARSHALL — It was a different kind of target practice.
Patrons at Wings Axe Company took turns stepping up to lanes with wooden bullseyes attached to the far wall. One by one, they threw axes at the targets, trying to get the axe blades to stick in the middle of the bullseye.
“It’s fun. It takes a while to get the hang of it,” said Jennifer Hennen. Hennen was among the groups of people trying out a new sport at Wings Axe Company, in downtown Marshall. Wings Axe Company had its grand opening on Saturday.
“It’s been really exciting,” said owner Jett Wing. “People are really having fun, and that’s what matters.”
Wings Axe Company is one of the newest tenants to move into the new Atlantic Hotel and Landmark Mercantile building at the corner of Main Street and College Drive. Wing said his new business had a soft opening on Thursday and Friday, before Saturday’s official opening.
Wing is a graduate of Marshall High School. He said he started down the path to opening an axe-throwing business after taking part in the Lyon and Murray County CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program.
“That was really big, in me being able to do this,” Wing said. As part of the CEO program, high school students plan out and start their own businesses.
Wing said he had started a power-washing business, but ultimately decided to try something different.
“That really wasn’t for me. I like being with people,” he said.
Wings Axe Company has a total of nine lanes for axe throwing, with three lanes in a separate area that could be used for private parties, Wing said.
In designing the venue, “I really wanted to go for a place that’s classy, but not fancy,” Wing said. While Wings Axe Company features a bar, and a patio facing out toward the Redwood River, there are also plenty of rustic touches like wood paneling and barrels.
Would-be axe throwers can reserve lane time online at www.wingsaxecompany.com. The business also features food like chicken wings, pizza and charcuterie boards. Menu items like pizzas are prepared by Atlantic Place restaurant, Wing said.
“They’re amazing to work with, and the food is great,” he said.
Learning about the axe-throwing business also involved some training. Wing said earlier this fall he worked with Miguel Tamburini, a national champion axe thrower and owner of an axe-throwing business in Washington state.
Wing said he was thankful for all the help he’s had in starting the business, including from friends and family members.
“I’m very grateful,” Wing said.
Wing said he hoped to try starting an axe-throwing league in the future.
Customers at Wings Axe Company on Saturday ranged from a group celebrating a birthday, to people visiting Marshall.
“It’s awesome,” said Saul Calderon.
“It’s something to do in Marshall,” added Jared Deutz.