Murray Yance remembers the first time his hurled axe stuck in the target, and he wants to provide the same euphoria to Dothan-area residents.
Yance, representing Lionheart Ventures, discussed the installation of an axe-throwing entertainment venue on North Foster Street with the Board of Zoning Adjustment Thursday. The facility will be located in the former Ms. Boomer’s building next to the Saxon building.
Yance has visited similar facilities – which provide different lanes where people try to land hatchets/axes on a wooden target – in the Birmingham and Huntsville areas. After giving the hobby a try, he and his business partners believed Dothan would be a prime location for a similar facility.
“In today’s time we all want to be entertained by something a little bit different,” he said. “As a starting-out company, we decided to get into this market. We wanted to capitalize on that and get a great entertainment venue in Dothan.”
The venue, which will be called Kiss My Axe, will have eight lanes that support up to four participants each. The venue will provide a coach that will review safety tips with patrons and also offer a few throwing tips since the activity can be difficult.
“It’s like darts. You’re going to have a target. It’ll be marked out in circles,” Yance said. “Once you get started, it’s going to be tough, but after some practice, it gets a bit simpler. Once you hit it the first time, that’s when your competitive nature comes out.”
The owners also plan on setting the targets at World Axe Throwing League distances with thoughts of trying to attract WATL events to Dothan. Yance said as the business expands, different activities will be added to complement axe-throwing.
Yance noted Lionheart plans on having special entertainment nights and envisions partnering with Foster Fest and The Plant on different ventures.
The BZA approved a special-exception request for alcohol sales (beer and wine only) in an indoor assembly situation since the location is in the downtown overlay district. Yance said the venue will not serve as a bar per se, but Lionheart investors wanted the flexibility of providing alcoholic beverages to complement the axe-throwing venue.
The minimum age of participants will be 14 if accompanied by an adult. Yance said he plans to operate the business on Thursday through Sunday nights.
Yance has targeted an opening date of Sept. 1 for the facility.