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St. Paul Lounge Featuring Hatchet-Throwing Gets Liquor License

 

Keith Beveridge’s hatchet-tossing lounge was struck by two sharp pieces of bad news shortly after moving into PriorWorks, the old American Can Factory on St. Paul’s Prior Avenue.

First, the name “Lumberjack City” — which was already copyrighted — would have to get the ax.

And second, bachelor parties and corporate events had no keen interest in precision hatchet-throwing, competitive cross-cut sawing and timed log-rolling in a lounge that didn’t serve alcohol.

 

 

They canceled as quickly as they booked, or looked elsewhere.

Beveridge, who rebranded and adopted the name FlannelJax’s on the fly, finally caught a break on Wednesday when the St. Paul City Council approved a new alcohol license within the commercial development district that houses Can Can Wonderland, a Coney Island-style bar and mini-golf attraction.

“Our plan is to grow this concept nationally,” said Beveridge, explaining to the city council during a public hearing last week that he expects to have 25 to 30 employees at his adults-only destination. “It’s actually a national craze now. There’s over 50 locations in North America doing this. Ax-throwing is darts on steroids. … We love the Midway neighborhood, and we love 755 Prior Ave.”

 

The council created the commercial development district in 2016 with the expectation it would have one on-sale liquor license for non-restaurants. They amended the language on Wednesday to add a second license.

Beveridge said they’ll soon offer their customers beer and wine. They held a ribbon-cutting on Thursday.

The amendment to the commercial development district received the support of the Hamline-Midway Coalition, but drew opposition from Hewitt Avenue resident David Martinez, a candidate for the Ward 4 seat on the St. Paul City Council.

“I appreciate the economic development aspects of what the gentleman presented,” said Martinez, addressing the council during the June 20 public hearing. “I actually think for safety reasons it would be good to have the alcohol sales separate from ax-throwing, personally. … As a parent of young kids … alcohol and ax-throwing don’t make a good mix.”

 

Commercial Realtor Thomas Lelich, who represents PriorWorks owner Orton Development, said in an interview Thursday that to keep entertainment uses grouped together, he expects FlannelJax’s to move at some point from the brick-and-timber building it currently occupies to the northernmost structure within PriorWorks.The hatchet-throwing lounge would share the same floor as BlackStack Brewing, above Can Can Wonderland and a tool lending library.

“They’ll take up more space, so it will work better for them and work better for us,” Lelich said.

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