When Valerie Landry, general manager of the Sanford House Inn and Spa, told me that she recently went axe-throwing with her friends and loved it, I had two thoughts.
First, I’ve got to look into this axe-throwing thing. Second, I want to hang out with Valerie and her friends.
For my education, I turned to two guys who are extremely fun to hang out with: Vikash Bhula and Mitesh Natha, co-owners of Lone Star Axe Throwing. When Lone Star opens soon in Urban Union, it will bring a trending entertainment option to Downtown Arlington that, according to its founders, will offer more than just a great idea for a bachelor party.
“More than anything, we want Lone Star Axe Throwing to be a place that brings the community together,” said Vikash, “as well as a place to get into axe-throwing either for fun or competitively.”
Hitting the target
While axe-throwing as a sport has been around for as long as there have been lumberjack competitions, urban axe-throwing venues have been popping up in the metroplex since around 2016. Basically, the aim is to throw an axe at the target and hit the bulls-eye, or as near as possible.
“It’s like darts on steroids,” said Vikash. I’d say darts on steroids inside fortified batting cages.
Lone Star is built around ten, league-approved targets plus one for experimental activities like archery and shuriken (throwing stars).
“We laughed and laughed the first time we tried axe-throwing,” said Arlington resident Leanne Obersig. “At first, I was lucky to get the axe to stick anywhere! Victory is pulling it out of the target. We’ve been playing for ages now and it’s still good for lots of fun and giggles.”
There are several different sizes of axes, and there are about a dozen ways to play and score. Adults and kids with parental supervision can participate after signing a release. Because safety is paramount, first-timers will be required to go through training in how to hold, stand with, and throw an axe, and on-going instruction will also be available.
Compared to its competitors, Lone Star is a large and extremely well-appointed venue. Even before opening, it’s already creating a buzz in the axe-throwing community.
Currently, Jerry Franklin, president of Williams Home Maintenance in Arlington, either travels to Ft. Worth to participate in the sport or he throws a few at the target in his own backyard. But soon he’ll be a regular at Lone Star.
“Axe-throwing is such a great sport,” said Jerry, “and a fun way to spend time with friends. It’s going to be so much more convenient to play in Arlington, not to mention more fun with all the amenities that Vikash and Mitesh are offering.”
Red Carpet Hospitality
When Lone Star opens in the next few weeks, guests will enjoy several features that few other axe-throwing businesses offer. First, Lone Star is air-conditioned, something that you’d think would be a given in Texas but isn’t. Second, guests can enjoy free games like shuffleboard between axe-throwing rounds. Third, Lone Star will have a cash bar and serve wine and locally-brewed beer like Legal Draft (whose brewery is located across the parking lot). Fourth, proximity to Urban Union’s bar and restaurant options makes the location ideal for a day or night out.
Commitment to amenities is not by accident because above all, Lone Star aims to treat its guests like family. If anyone can pull off axe-throwing with heart it’s Vikash and Mitesh.
The lifelong friends grew up together in Ft. Worth. As kids, they shared one bike and the experience of growing up with hotelier parents. As adults, each own an Arlington-area hotel and they still finish each other’s sentences. With such great creativity, camaraderie, and entrepreneurial energy between them, it wasn’t a surprise that their big dream has always been to launch a business together.
Just like Valerie, Vikash and Mitesh understand how to underpin a business with hospitality. They chose axe-throwing as their first venture together precisely for its capacity to bring people together, to have fun, and to make memories.
And to come back again and again and again.
Story by Amy J. Schultz
About Downtown Arlington
Designated by the State of Texas as the Arlington Cultural District, Downtown Arlington blends a unique mix of activities, sights, tastes and sounds that attract visitors and locals alike. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to a top tier public research university, prolific fine and performing artists and arts institutions, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate.