Walking into the Timber Lounge on Agricola Street in Halifax is like stepping into a rustic log cabin deep in the woods. The smell of fresh lumber sends signals directly to your brain that it’s time for a cold beer, socializing and fun. What kind of fun? The throwing an axe with your friends kind. Like any normal night at the cottage, right?
Owner and operator Darren Hudson is a professional lumberjack; Hudson grew up in Barrington, Nova Scotia, where his family has owned a lumber mill for generations. He has traveled all over the world competing as a lumberjack athlete (think logrolling) for the past twenty years. Now, he’s pumped to have opened what he calls “the safest axe throwing lounge in North America.”
Safety is the name of the game at the Timber Lounge. Drinking beer and throwing axes may not sound like they go hand-in-hand, but “it’s all about safety first,” says Hudson. Groups throwing axes are monitored closely and are coached by a professional during their session. So what exactly is the set up like? There are two sets of double throwing lanes, separated by a caged wall. Directly behind where the two throwers stand there’s another small cage just the width of a person, that’s where the coach stands to safely observe and offer guidance.
The best part of the Timber Lounge is that there are no expectations. Don’t want to throw an axe? You don’t have to. Just chill with a beer and watch others do it through the viewing window. Lean on the gorgeous live edge wood bar and enjoy a local craft beer – they have four on tap. “The rotating tap,” explains Hudson. “We make the brewers come in and throw axes to compete for it.” In addition to that they offer local craft cider by the bottle and a few Nova Scotia wines by the glass. The lounge has a real cottage vibe, with a mix of low and high-top tables. Adjacent to the lounge there’s another large room with tables, chairs and couches for chilling and watching sports.
If you’re looking for the axe throwing experience, book in advance to come in with a group. There are also league nights. “People get a little nervous. They overthink it. After a few throws you can see their confidence go up,” says Hudson. Everyone gets a taught how to properly throw the axe, and the coach is quick to point out anything that could be dangerous or unsteady. The most important part is to listen to your instructor. I was lucky to learn from Hudson himself, and on my sixth throw, I hit the bull’s-eye.
Timber Lounge is located at 2712 Agricola Street in Halifax’s north end. It’s open from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Monday through Thursday.
Check out the Timber Lounge online at http://www.timberlounge.ca.