Bounce Milwaukee, Bay View’s inflatable sports arena that offers laser tag, rock climbing and beer, is adding another activity.
By the end of winter, Bounce, 2801 S. 5th Court, will open a six-lane ax-throwing venue in 4,800 square feet of warehouse space adjacent to its existing building.
“It’s like a batting cage, only with axes,” said Bounce owner Ryan Clancy. “There are leagues going on in Chicago and it is super popular in Canada.”
Bounce is also expanding its toddler offerings (not in the same area as the ax throwing) and its bar in the building’s mezzanine level.
Clancy said he and his wife, Bounce co-owner Becky Cooper-Clancy, have tried ax throwing with their children and the family loved it.
“Milwaukee didn’t put any restrictions on us, which is unheard of,” Clancy said. “We haven’t set a youngest age yet, but our 7-year-old was throwing and had a great time. And survived.”
The first ax-throwing bar in North America is believed to have started in Toronto in 2011, according to Forbes. Today there are ax-throwing bars in Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Detroit, Austin, Charlotte, Denver and Brooklyn.
According to the National Axe Federation, there are about 3,000 league members in 41 cities and five countries.
The city’s Board of Zoning Appeals approved Bounce’s request to expand their facility to include up to 10 ax throwing lanes in November.
“I think the reason the city has been so kind is we have a really good safety and track record,” Clancy said. “In four years we’ve had one police call, and that was to get a locker open. We’ve had a ton of support for the community and do what we can to support fund-raisers and non-profits.”