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Main Street Axe Co., a new axe throwing bar, will open May 18 at 616 Commercial St. The company is the newest addition to Emporia Mainstreet Inc. and has other locations in Pittsburg, Kansas and Joplin, Missouri. 

 

Emporia Main Street will be welcoming the newest business and first axe-throwing bar, Main Street Axe Co., to Emporia on May 18. Located at 616 Commercial St., local owner Caleb Shedd says this will be “something you’ve never done before.”  

Shedd will be owning and operating the franchise business, started by Michelle Fowler in 2018. After leaving Chicago to raise her family in Pittsburg, Kansas, Fowler wanted to bring some more fun to the small town.  

Fowler said she got the idea when she and some friends took a tour of an axe-throwing bar in Chicago. 

“We managed to get a tour of an axe-throwing place and the guy helped us throw a few throws and it was surprisingly fun, so I said, ‘Yeah I’m gonna do this in Pittsburg,’” Fowler said. “Pittsburg is just like Emporia. We are kind of isolated, not much to do. So you know we’re just like a small town and it made sense. And after I said I wanted to try this again for other communities.” 

Fowler stated she is primarily interested in locations similar to Pittsburg, Emporia and Joplin, Missouri.  

“My goal with Main Street Axe Company is to bring a little bit of fun to small towns and particularly towns with main streets,” Fowler said. 

Main Street Axe Co. will be the newest member of Emporia Main Street Inc. Casey Woods, executive director, said Emporia Main Street worked with Shedd directly on helping him with the new business. 

Emporia Main Street provided Shedd with a $20,000 loan, according to Woods.  

“I think generally people have been excited about a new type of business that seems to be a growing concept,” said Woods. “Those types of entertainment businesses have a tendency to pull people in from a larger distance. Lyon County, our median age is much younger than all of our surrounding counties. We’re at 26.4 and I think the next closest county is about 41. So we know that there are younger people looking for fun things to do and we can pull those people into downtown Emporia with these types of entertainment venues.” 

Locations in Joplin and Pittsburg feature “League Nights” inspired by the World Axe Throwing League (WATL). Emporia’s location will follow suit, according to Shedd. Customers can play and score games according to WATL standards, or just play casually. 

“We’re in the WATL, so we kind of go off their games,” said Shedd. “Pretty much it’s just a competition if you wanted, or it can be a fun environment for you and your family.” 

While a lot of the customer base has been college students, Fowler says axe throwing is for everyone.  

“This (axe throwing) is an everybody thing and it is a really great mix of people,” Fowler said. “I would not expect anyone to go in and say ‘Oh, this is just like every other place I frequent.’ It’s for everybody.” 

“It’s college kids when their families come in town, it’s college kids after a test, it’s a fraternity doing dads day, family day from the university,” Fowler said. “It’s really cool and not just college kids hanging out.” 

Main Street Axe Co. opens on May 18 and is open Wed. - Thurs. 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fri. - Sat. 2. pm. to 12 a.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Private parties can be scheduled by calling (620) 266-1685.  

All visitors participating will need to sign a liability waiver and all patrons under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children must be at least 12 years of age to participate. An hour and a half session cost $25 per guest. Beer, water, soda and snacks will be available.  

More information can be found on their website, www.mainstreetaxe.com.

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