Axe-throwing gets axed, for now

Oak Bluffs restaurant decides to toss bar game after complaint and weather issues.

Axe-throwing was short-lived at SeaSmoke BBQ in Oak Bluffs. — Courtesy Mass Axes via Facebook

Axe-throwing at Sea Smoke Barbecue in Oak Bluffs has been indefinitely postponed, according to operations manager J.B. Blau.

Blau brought axe throwing to Sea Smoke with the hope it would draw customers, but after a few weeks he found the restaurant was doing fine without it. Axe-throwing also operates on a loss, as Blau has to pay a trained professional to teach and supervise people. The hot weather this summer also proved to be a deciding factor in removing the attraction. 

It took some convincing, but the popular bar game got the green light from Oak Bluffs selectmen in May. Described by Blau as, “cornhole, but instead of cornhole it’s axes,” the activity involves people stepping into a cage and throwing axes at targets on a wooden board.

Instead, Blau has sent his axe-throwing cage off-Island to festivals and breweries where more people can enjoy it, and where it can actually make money.

A single complaint from a neighbor was the straw the broke the camel’s back for Blau. “There was only one complaint, and it was one day when things ran late,” Blau said. “We said we don’t want to be a bad neighbor.”

Oak Bluffs selectmen had not received any written complaints about the axe-throwing, Alice Butler, the executive assistant to town administrator Robert Whritenour, told The Times.

Axe-throwing enthusiasts need not fret, as Blau says the novelty could return in the fall when the weather cools down. 

“It’s a really positive thing the restaurant is just busier than we thought,” Blau said.