A new amusement trend is coming to Denton: ax throwing.
Ironwood Axe Throwing is one of four new businesses slated to come to downtown Denton in a new strip of retail spots along Russell Street, adjoined to the new North Central Texas College campus.
“I’ve been throwing axes at trees since I was a kid, but I used to just get in trouble with my dad for doing it,” said Brian Burrows, owner and founder of Ironwood. “I thought it would be great in Denton because it’s so diverse with working people, families; it’s something everybody can do.”
Burrows, a member of the Team USA shooting team, has competed internationally in shotgun shooting, and is in the process of competing to make the USA Olympic Team for 2020.
The sporting aspect of ax throwing appealed to Burrows after he saw a major competition on ESPN, he said. The targets will be standardized from the World Axe Throwing League and customers will throw with standard 1.5-pound hatchets.
The spot will also be BYOB and will allow customers to bring in food as well. Burrows hopes to open by the end of next month.
Along the strip, three other businesses have signed leases: The Vinyl Lounge, Lazy Daze Cafe and Salon Indigo. Another lease is pending for a retail boutique, said Glen Farris, the leasing agent with Verus brokering the properties.
The Vinyl Lounge is set to be a 2,700-square-foot record bar, with all music played from vinyl records, owner Thomas Martin said. He hopes the bar will have a nightclub vibe and open by the end of January.
“We’re going to try and create a kind of groovy, retro atmosphere that’s a fun place to hang out,” Martin said. “We want to bring our clientele into the whole experience, so I think it will be a really fun place people will enjoy.”
Salon Indigo is also a twist on a traditional business, and aims to be an environmentally conscious hair salon, owner Letha Bencid said. She’s partnering with Eufora for products at the salon, a brand of sustainability focused hair-care products, as well as a company that helps reduce salon waste in a sustainable way.
Bencid, who has worked in hair for nearly 30 years, said she hopes her salon cultivates a community feel while using products that are more gentle for customers and stylists.
“I am a hairdresser, but my love for the business side comes from my own experience as an independent contractor,” she said. “I have a love for both, but I wanted to provide a place that would be fun, in a good location, have a good environment and a good energy.”
There’s still two more spaces available for lease, including the 6,500-square-foot restaurant space at the corner of Hickory and Russell streets.
Farris said improvements on Russell Street have helped make the property more appealing. The city recently added a valet trash service, eliminating three dumpsters from the street and prompting Steve’s Wine Bar to add a patio space.
“I don’t think we could have gotten these businesses without what the city is doing with trash downtown,” Farris said. “I think all these people are going to add to downtown. Everything we’ve got going in down there will fit right in.”