Blade & Timber opens at new downtown Lawrence location

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Photos updated at 7:16 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1:

Blade & Timber Axe Throwing is back open for business in Lawrence, now with six throwing lanes housed in a new downtown location.

After a four-year hiatus, Blade & Timber plans to celebrate its opening by “flinging axes” all weekend long. 

Owner Matt Baysinger said this weekend is a “super soft opening” as lanes will be opened as needed, and he estimated a more formal ribbon cutting ceremony will take place in around a month. But he wanted to be open for the first University of Kansas football game, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday, to hopefully draw in the lively downtown crowd.

Baysinger acquired the space at 722 Massachusetts St. after Signs of Life bookstore closed in May and moved out of the location. Swell Spark, the corporate parent of Blade & Timber, operates axe throwing locations in Kansas City, Wichita, Seattle, Honolulu, Portland and Austin. The company operated Blade & Timber at 809 Massachusetts St. from 2018 to 2019, until a fire at the location forced its closure. (That space is now home to the Raven Book Store.)

Blade & Timber moved into its new space on Aug. 1.

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“It was such a quick and tumultuous ending when we had the fire in late 2019. That rolled straight into the pandemic,” Baysinger said. “And so just waiting for the right time and seizing the opportunity to be able to reopen … You know, we told folks all along, we think we’ll be back, so to make good on that word and to be able to provide another wholesome family-friendly, but also adult-friendly entertainment option downtown, I’m just excited to have that in Lawrence.”

Whether a casual or experienced thrower, every player has a chance to hit the bullseye. Each session begins with a lesson from a certified axe-safety coach. Participants must be 10 or older to play.

Alcoholic beverages in bottles and cans as well as snacks will be served for now, according to the website. The full bar menu with signature cocktails, wine, spirits and local craft beers will soon be added, paired with appetizers suitable for sharing with a group. Along with six throwing lanes, a private party room is available for reservation.

Plans to add Sinkers Lounge, with mini golf and cocktails, to the shared space are still in the works and will most likely be completed during the spring of 2024, Baysinger said.

Blade & Timber’s opening weekend hours include 2 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3.

Contributed photo The first group of axe throwers at Blade & Timber

Baysinger said a handful of patrons came in to play during the first day of operation on Thursday, and that more had turned out so far on Friday.

Reserve a lane by booking at Axe throwing for an hour and a half costs $26 per person.

Use the code “THANKYOU” at checkout for a $21-per-person special when booking online through Sunday, Oct. 1. Walk-ins are welcome on a first-come, first-served basis.

The venue, at 722 Massachusetts St., will be open regularly for the next month or so from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 to 10 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 to 8 p.m. Sundays. Visit the website to learn more about Blade & Timber.

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Lawrence Lowdown is a feature on developments around town. Have a tip? Let us know.

Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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