By Kevin Collison
Blade & Timber is now open in the Power & Light District and so far, the owners have found their best advertisement has been passersby lured by the noise of axes chopping into wood.
“We’re excited to open the doors because of the sound of axe throwing” co-owner Matt Baysinger said. “People say, ‘oh, I want that.'”
Partner Ryan Henrich added, “during our soft opening weekend, people stood at the patio railing and watched, and then decided to come in. We were pleasantly slammed.”
The new venue, which includes a full bar and food, opened about a week ago in space at 1303 Baltimore. It’s a big jump in visibility from where Blade & Timber was founded two years ago in the West Bottoms.
“The West Bottoms is tucked away and if you’re from out of town, you don’t know where it is,” said Baysinger. “The Power & Light District has 10 million visitors per year.”
Henrich said, “It’s the heart of Kansas City and we wanted to be in the heart.”
Still, the partners, who have now opened six Blade & Timbers nationwide, including Lawrence and a suburban location in the Town Center in Leawood, say they may return to the Bottoms at some point.
“We love the West Bottoms and we’re known for our concepts,” Baysinger said. “I don’t think the West Bottoms has seen the end of us.”
In the meantime, the new downtown location is allowing the partners to offer a food menu prepared by Taylor Petrehn, a three-time James Beard nominated chef. Offerings include a fried chicken sandwich, chicken and waffles and steak frites.
There are 11 axe-throwing lanes and seven dart boards. Even people just sitting and having a drink and food are invited to play table games.
“Our whole mantra is having fun with friends and family through shared experiences,” Henrich said.
“We believe in the power of fun. It’s a unifying thing for friends and co-workers.”
Baysinger added that axe throwing is an activity that can be shared by people with different levels of experience.
“You don’t have to be good at it like golf or baseball,” he said. “You don’t get looked down as not good. Here, nobody cares.”
There already are 16 axe-throwing teams enjoying league play every week and the number is growing.
The new Blade & Timber can accommodate about 200 people and its outdoor patio along Baltimore another 20 or so.
Hours are Sunday through Wednesday, 2- to 10 p.m.; Thursday, 2- to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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