A popular entertainment venue is giving Fort Worth just what it needs in 2020: a new place to hurl hatchets through the air with abandon.
After months of delays, Stumpy’s Hatchet House of Fort Worth will open Friday, October 23, at 824 W. Daggett Ave., near all the hot restaurants and bars in the city's trendy Near Southside neighborhood.
The popular hatchet-throwing center includes 11 throwing pits, a woodshed party room, beer and wine for sale, giant games, and a retro arcade.
According to a company, this will be the second Stumpy's Hatchet House in the DFW area (the first opened at Irving's Toyota Music Factory last year), with another one coming soon to Plano. It joins more than 20 other Stumpy's across the country, including one in San Antonio that opened in 2018 as the first Stumpy's in Texas.
The New Jersey-based brand, which touts itself as "America's first indoor hatchet throwing venue," was founded in 2016.
Part recreation center/part bar, Stumpy's houses a series of indoor throwing pits outfitted with wire-framed walls and a special wooden target at the end. People take turns throwing hatchets in a safe, controlled environment, which allows them to work on their hatchet throwing form, Stumpy's says. (Think: "an extreme version of darts," they say.)
After they've mastered the art of the throw, players can then move to hatchet games and activities. Stumpy's trained instructors remain on site to ensure the harmless and friendly play of each guest, providing a safe, leisurely venue.
One thing that hungry hatchet-throwers should note: The Fort Worth location will sell beverages but not food. "We are BYOF (Bring Your Own Food)," they say. "You can order food from Twilite Lounge, next door, and it can be delivered to your pit."
All guests must be 18 and over, but they'll occasionally close the bar to welcome kids starting at age 13 on "family days," they say. Large parties can be accommodated, and although they'll welcome walk-ins, reservations are recommended.
For groups of up to four people, pits are reserved for an hour at a time, at $25 per person. For groups of five or more, they're reserved for two hours, at $40 per person. Non-throwers can come watch, but they'll have to pay a $15 "non-thrower" fee. (No fun!)
Of course, opening any new venue in 2020 means putting COVID-19 precautions in place. Stumpy's has that covered.
"With customer health and safety at the top of their minds, the facility is enforcing the following to ensure a great experience: all employees will be wearing masks, any employee handling food/beverage will be wearing gloves, every area will be sanitized before each customer, and social distancing protocols will be in effect," a Stumpy's spokeswoman says.
Axe-throwing had become a hot trend across Dallas-Fort Worth before COVID came along and temporarily shut down the fun. Venues that have sprung up in recent years include Bad Axe Throwing in Fort Worth and Dallas, Flying Axe Factory (now known as Fort Worth Axe Factory), Texas Axe Throwing in Arlington, Corky's Gaming Bistro in Grapevine, and Whiskey Hatchet in Dallas.
Stumpy's Fort Worth will hold grand opening events October 23-25; follow their Facebook page to keep up. Regular hours will be 5-10 pm Wednesday-Thursday, 5 pm-midnight Friday, 12 pm-midnight Saturday, and 2-8 pm Sunday. Sadly, no hatchet-throwing on Monday or Tuesday.
Teresa Gubbins contributed to this story.