Bad Axe Throwing, an indoor axe throwing company, opened its first U.S. location in the West Loop last week. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]
WEST LOOP — Much-hyped Bad Axe Throwing, an indoor facility that brings axe-throwing to the United States, is now officially open in the West Loop.
Ready to test your steel-chucking talents? Here's everything you need to know before you go.
What is indoor axe throwing?
Indoor axe throwing is exactly what it sounds like — at Bad Axe Throwing, you'll be throwing axes at targets in a monitored indoor facility.
No experience is required and participants learn how to throw an axe at a target from expert coaches in a safe environment, Bad Axe Throwing founder Mario Zelaya said.
Bad Axe has opened 10 locations across Canada since 2014 and the West Loop location is the first in the United States, company spokeswoman Melanie St. Amour said.
Despite a rapid expansion, axe throwing indoors is still a relatively novel idea in Canada, said Jesse Gutzman, chief axe thrower at Bad Axe.
"As far as the States, there are axe-throwing and knife-throwing festivals in some Midwest cities, but it's mostly a small, unheard-of sport," Gutzman said.
Bad Axe Throwing is now open at 165 N. Loomis St. just off of Lake Street in the West Loop. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]
Where is Bad Axe located in the West Loop?
West Loop natives will recognize the Bad Axe facility, 165 N. Loomis St., as the former La Luce banquet hall. The rest of the restaurant, housed in a Victorian-aged building on Lake Street, is slated to be torn down this year.
From Lake Street in Chicago, Bad Axe is at the end of Loomis.
Bad Axe Throwing hosts a number of birthday parties, bachelor parties and other celebrations. [Bad Axe Throwing]
Can I just stop by anytime?
Nope — the facility is open by appointment only for now.
Bad Axe Throwing specializes in birthday parties, corporate events, bachelor parties and other celebrations with a lumberjack twist.
Maybe weddings, too? During an open house last weekend, a bride and groom made a special trip to Bad Axe to snap a few pics, said Julian Rutkowski, Chicago team leader.
Adrienne and Mark Kelly stopped by Bad Axe during its opening weekend while they were tying the knot. [Bad Axe Throwing]
Can I drink before chucking an axe?
Unfortunately, no. Bad Axe Throwing did originally plan to allow parties to bring beer into the facility, but owners have since scrapped those plans.
Bad Axe does not plan to apply for a BYOB permit in the future, St. Amour said.
Throwing coaches strictly monitor throwers to make sure they aren't intoxicated, Gutzman said.
Bad Axe Throwing's walls feature murals by Chicago artist Damon Lamar Reed. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]
How much does it cost?
Regular admission for a Chicago axe throwing event will be $44.25 plus tax, according to the company's website, and events last about three hours.
The admission fee can only be paid via debit or credit card (no cash).
Participants need to wear closed-toed shoes to the facility, too, Rutkowski said.
Bad Axe Throwing will launch an eight-week throwing league Oct. 18 that will meet weekly from 7-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier this month, Bad Axe Throwing postponed its planned opening date a few weeks to fix a few electrical issues. The facility officially opened Friday.
The booming West Loop is becoming a destination for unique entertainment venues. Brooklyn Boulders, an indoor rock climbing gym, opened in 2014, and Brooklyn Bowl, a bowling and concert venue in Fulton Market, is slated to open next year.
Bad Axe Throwing, now open at 165 N. Loomis St. in the West Loop. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]
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