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Axe club business sharpens new look to downtown Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif - Santa Barbara's 400 block has never had the same personality as its neighboring blocks towards the waterfront one way, or the Paseo Nuevo Mall shopping and dining district the other way.

That's why the new State Street Axe club might just be hitting the target in its first week with a unique option that's never been seen before.

The club opened last Friday during Old Spanish Days Fiesta, and quickly filled up.

It has since seen multiple lanes of axe throwing customers and inquisitive participants peering through the open doors.

It will be open seven days a week, and Thursday will be college night.

The lanes rent for $35 an hour.

No drinking is allowed.

Each lane is fenced off for safety.

Owner Brett Michaelson said, it is perfect for group gatherings. "Date night, going out with friends,  birthday parties."

One customer Mike MacDonald said, "my birthday is coming up, I'm bringing my birthday party here.  We are having a going away party and I am bringing it here.  It's not that expensive and it's fun to do!"

He has been in four times.

Everyone signs in, goes through a training and get verbal instructions. "We're monitoring, we're teaching you how to do this and we are making it competitive and fun too," said Michaelson. "We don't want any axe-idents!"
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A Santa Barbara City College football player came in with two teammates and got the feel of it right away, saying it wasn't hard. "No not really, after a few tries you'll  get the hang of it," said Benji Rodriguez.

Danielle Anderson was smiling at her success while throwing an axe repeatedly.
"We do mixed martial arts.  If falls right into the  combat kind of thing.  I used do knife throwing  in high school!"

The club also has military shovels for tosses too.

Some of the boards get heavily chipped away fast with expert throwers. But the planks are quickly replaced and the targets are redrawn.

Michaelson says axe throwing has become popular in many cities and also has competitive leagues on sports TV networks. He expects it to remain trendy and not just be a passing fad. "Here people keep coming back, we're going to keep it axe-citing."

For more information go to: State Street Axe Club

Article Topic Follows: Money and Business
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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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