Competitive axe throwing has arrived to Haverhill and it’s best done with beer! Mixing alcohol and axes sounds like a bad idea, but throw in a trainer, safety protocols and a controlled environment and you’ve got yourself a fun adult’s night out. In my case, I had a fun girls nite out with fellow mom friends. Occasionally leaving the kids at home is necessary for your sanity. We had a fun time at Wicked Axe, the newest entertainment hot spot in Haverhill.
Wicked Axe is a sports bar lounge that offers a number of fun activities. If you’re on the fence about throwing axes, there’s certainly plenty of other things to do, such as cornhole, darts, billiards, ping pong, tabletop games, even a golf simulator. Or just cozy up in one of the nice lounge spaces and chat with friends, old and new. Owner Shawn Gliklich describes his venue as a “Chuck E Cheese for adults.”
What Is Axe Throwing?
Axe throwing is like throwing darts. Rent a lane, throw an axe at a giant wood target to hit the bullseye, and repeat. Fans say it’s a huge adrenaline rush. It’s a sport that levels the playing field because strength doesn’t matter.
Historically, throwing axes has been a lumberjack sport but it’s grown in popularity. Nowadays, it’s typically held at a warehouse-like facility with tall ceilings. If you get hooked to the sport, there are leagues you can join.
Meet The Couple Behind Wicked Axe
I had the chance to meet owners, Shawn and Barb Gliklich. They were gracious to tell me their story during my unannounced visit. Working previously in the medical field as a doctor and a nurse, Shawn and Barbara took a big leap of faith by becoming business entrepreneurs in the axe throwing business equipped with a full bar and restaurant.
“We have lived and worked in this area of Massachusetts for many years, and we wanted to bring something fun and unique to our community. We had a vision of becoming entrepreneurs. Although we enjoyed our experiences as a doctor and a nurse, we wanted to establish a different way of connecting with people. I have always enjoyed planning family gatherings, helping family and friends plan their major life celebrations, etc. So we always knew that we wanted a venue where we could host and help plan special occasions in a unique way. We love people and socializing so providing the perfect atmosphere with everything available to make it a wonderful time seemed like a perfect match for us.”
The couple set out to create a venue that reflected their personalities. Walking through Wicked Axe, you’ll find murals on the walls that have ties to their past in the medical profession. Shawn spoke to me in detail about how he acquired the lumber for specific wood furniture pieces at the venue. The care and attention he has in the details is evident.
“When we opened our establishment, we wanted it to be a reflection of both of us – a collaboration of our past and our future endeavors. So much of our personalities shine at Wicked Axe, and that is something we take a lot of pride in. “
What To Expect At Wicked Axe
Before arriving, plan on wearing closed-toe shoes. Once at the venue, you’ll have to sign an electronic waiver form. You’ll be paired with an axe throwing coach. The coach will give a lesson on all the safety rules and allow you a few practice throws: first with two hands, then with one hand. You’ll receive tips, tricks, and encouragement from your coach as you continue. Your coach will guide you from start to finish. He or she will teach you a few games to play and manage the scorecard. Anyone in a league can throw without a coach. However, there is always an axe throwing coach paying attention and supervising while anyone has an axe in their hand.
The sport of throwing an axe is potentially dangerous although no deaths or serious injuries have been recorded. Barbara and Shawn take safety seriously. Their daughter Amanda manages the marketing for Wicked Axe. She states: “You cannot take the nurse out of my stepmother. She has a medical cart on wheels that she has close by in the event of an injury. Although I assure you we do everything possible to keep everyone safe, she’s still a nurse and a mother regardless of her setting. So she’s prepared for whatever could come her way. That will never change no matter how old we get, or however long she is not a practicing nurse – it’s just in her DNA.”
Next time you’re looking for a fun night, grab your family, friends, or date and head on over to Wicked Axe. Enjoy a wood-fired meal, have a good laugh, and try a new experience or master the art of axe throwing while sipping on a specialty cocktail. A little friendly competition is a great way to release tension after a long week. I’ll definitely be back.
Address and Hours
721 S Main St., Haverhill, MA 01835
(entrance & parking at the rear of building)
Phone: (978) 241-4814
General Venue Hours (call for current updates)
|Sunday||12–8PM||Open to 12+|
|Tuesday||5–9PM||Open to 18+|
|Wednesday||5–9PM||Open to 18+|
|Thursday||5–10PM||Open to 18+|
* This article was not sponsored or paid. Opinions are my own. I feature local businesses and hot spots around the Boston Northshore.