Restaurant Development & Design

JUL-AUG 2019

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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2 0 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 9 TREND display, people walk in to see what's happening and hang out for a drink or two because of the cozy environment," says Flesher-Sonnier. Slated to open this fall, the Washington, D.C., Kick Axe will consist of 12,000 square feet with 12 ranges and a full bar. Above it and connected internally will be the Ginger Compa- nies' Throw Social, which will feature indoor curling on synthetic ice and six bowling lanes. The building will also include a rooftop deck and mezzanine decorated in a Miami Beach chic vibe. Attached in the back will be the Other Half Brewery's new taproom. "It will be a complete, competitive socializing space," adds Flesher-Sonnier. Downtown Sporting Club Strategic Hospitality, Nashville, Tenn. "People want to enjoy activities in groups — casual fun in a slightly com- petitive environment that, at the end of the day, nobody is actually really good at," says Benjamin Goldberg, co-owner with brother Max of Strategic Hospitality. Axe-throwing was part of the original concept when Downtown Sporting Club opened this spring. "Although people know us as an axe- throwing venue, it only takes up about 2,500 to 3,000 square feet, which is just about one-third of the second "oor. So it's a pretty minimal foot- print," explains Goldberg. Indeed, the three-story Downtown Sporting Club has plenty happening. The building measures 42,394 square feet; every "oor divides into smaller areas. The —rst "oor features the 100- seat Ribbon Room restaurant as well as a casual cafe that serves lighter fare all day long. The second "oor is home to The R.E.C. Room, a big sports bar with seating for about 65. Besides axe throwing, guests can play corn hole, ring toss, foosball and shuf"eboard, as well as a variety of arcade and board games. On the third "oor are 16 hotel rooms. On the rooftop, a 4,000-square- foot patio bar overlooks lower Broadway. "We haven't gone for the lumber- jack look," says Goldberg. The decor has a lot of wood and demarcation lines on the "oor in different colors that add a dynamic element. Chain-link fencing not only secures the area but also opens up the space. "We traveled all over researching axe-throwing facilities," says Goldberg. "We wanted to create a fun environ- ment that is totally safe." Six bays accommodate 12 throwing lanes. The sturdily constructed bays feature a wooden wall that goes up 24 to 30 inches, then a chain-link fence and a header-board of 24 to 30 inches. Each bay is a totally enclosed and controlled secure area. The limit per bay is eight guests with a dedicated coach. The facility allows only two people in the throw- ing area at a time. A coach and a gate control access to the lanes. Alcohol is served in the back area. The axe coach places the drink orders and monitors consumption levels, making sure guests do not drink too much. Also, notes Goldberg, 95 percent of axe-throwing reservations are for one-hour blocks. "So it's not some three-hour party where people are over-indulging," he adds. Axe throwing is de—nitely a popular draw, attracting a clientele of both locals and visitors. "Reservations are booking nicely," says Goldberg, who adds that axe-throwing is just one of the attrac- tions of the Downtown Sporting Club. "Guests spend some time throwing axes, and then they stay with us, have some dinner or hang out at the rooftop bar. Axe-throwing is just part of what we do here; it's not the only thing we do. But it adds an interesting dynamic to the whole concept, that's for sure." + It's not all axes at the Downtown Sporting Club; guests can play a variety of games as well as dine at three dif- ferent restaurants or lounge on the rooftop patio bar. Image courtesy of Danielle Atkins

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