D.C.’s first ax-throwing bar is just a few months old, but it’s already expanding big time — mapping out plans to add a 5,000-square-foot outdoor wine and beer garden this year.
Kraken Axes, currently an indoor 2,000-square-foot ax-throwing destination at 3400 Georgia Avenue NW — currently sans alcohol, though bar service is projected to begin by Sunday, April 15 — is building out the boozy extension in the coming weeks with a goal of debuting the first part of the outdoor operation before June, co-owner Steuart Martens tells Eater. To mark the anticipated completion this fall — which will also include an outdoor kitchen — a big bash is in the works for Oktoberfest. Martens wants to brand Kraken Axes as a versatile events space, which is the entrepreneur’s specialty (his other side businesses include the annual Taste of DC and Drink the District).
The first piece of Kraken Axes opened in January in the former Murry’s grocery store, inviting the neighborhood to hurl weapons at targets, while fans of non-sharp games can partake in corn hole and giant Jenga, among other activities.
Themed leagues for the ax portion are projected to include emergency personnel, the LGBT community, women’s groups, industry night, and a craft brewer’s group. Ax throwing, also being pitched for team-building corporate groups and social groups, will be available seven days a week across the 1,000-person venue (slated to hold 500 inside and 500 outside). The space is currently in operation Thursday through Sunday.
The debut menu is being kept under wraps for now, with bar food like burgers and wings likely. Martens is working with “chef friends” over the next few months to host some pop-ups in the space until its kitchen is finished. Martens, a fourth-generation Washingtonian and former contestant on NBC’s The Apprentice, envisions holding farmer’s markets, unlimited pancake brunches, and other activities on-site. Other elements in the works include a huge section devoted to dancing, a large scotch library, fire pits, and rugby, cricket, and soccer aired at a built-in sports bar.
“We’re looking to make sure our space can transform from an ax-throwing bar one night to a wedding venue the next,” says Martens. “We want to be a space where everyone can find something to enjoy.”