A metro Detroit axe-throwing bar received a brief suspension of its liquor license for what regulators described as a potentially dangerous activities involving alcohol and sharp objects flying through the air. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) confirmed in a release on Tuesday that Auburn Hills-based entertainment venue Hub Stadium has investigated for “health, safety, and welfare concerns” at its axe-throwing lanes.
The state agency says it was unaware that axe-throwing would take place at the Hub Stadium during its licensing application and began investigating the establishment in June. Investigators say found a number of red flags at the axe bar including consumption of alcohol in the throwing areas, patrons wearing inappropriate footwear (open-toed shoes, heels, etc.), and generally poor enforcement and monitoring of the lanes by management. Hub Stadium’s social media accounts also didn’t help its case. The MLCC noted that there were images and videos of customers throwing axes at bottles of alcohol, bouncing axes off the floor to hit targets, and people juggling axes or generally just being unsafe showing offs.
The lax enforcement of safety precautions resulted in a hearing on Thursday, August 30. The bar received a brief, one-day suspension on Monday, September 10, “to allow the licensee to make numerous structural and policy changes.”
Axe-throwing bars are becoming increasingly common across North America and made their entrance into the Michigan market last year with the location at Hub Stadium and at Detroit Axe in Ferndale. Reached by Eater, a representative for the MLCC, David Harns, confirms that the agency did look into Detroit Axe in May and that the difference between the hearings for the Ferndale bar and Hub Stadium were “like night and day”
“The Ferndale location came in and made a complete and thorough demonstration of how seriously they take patron and employee safety with regard to alcohol service and consumption and the potentially dangerous activity of axe throwing,” Harns wrote in a statement to Eater. “The commission found their presentation very compelling and decided to take no action with regard to their liquor license.”
According to the MLCC, there’s no law that says establishments with liquor licenses can’t offer sporting activities such as axe-throwing. However, the MLCC can step in if there’s “a significant threat to the public health.”