NORTH HAVEN — A request to allow ax throwing facilities in town was withdrawn last Wednesday by the applicants, AXEcited LLC.
“We withdrew our application, but we’re still willing to look at the possibility of North Haven,” said Joseph Riga, co-founder of AXEcited, who declined to comment further on the withdrawal.
Riga said the company is considering other towns as well.
In late July, AXEcited submitted an application asking that zoning regulations be amended to include “axe throwing facilities” in light industrial zones.The current zoning regulation allows bowling alleys, skating rinks, tennis courts, driving ranges, and indoor and outdoor miniature golf courses.
The application was put on hold after the town’s fire and police chiefs expressed concerns about alcohol consumption. The proposal did not include alcohol consumption, but Land Use Administrator Alan Fredricksen said it did leave the door open. The police and fire chiefs suggested the Planning and Zoning Commission only approve the amendment if restrictions on alcohol use were added.
“I have no objection to amending the proposed language… to include ‘Axe Throwing Facilities,’ however, from a law enforcement perspective, I do not believe this type of activity should be allowed in establishments that serve beer, wine or other liquor,” Police Chief Thomas McLoughlin said in an Aug. 2 letter to Fredricksen.
Fredricksen said Januszewski expressed similar concerns. While liquor permits are granted by the state, they also require local approval.
Partners Riga and Joseph Cifarelli formed AXEcited in June.
“Having strong ties to the Town of North Haven and being committed business owners in the community we are looking to continue that commitment by bringing another business venture to the area,” the company’s website states. “One which will bring a new experience and enjoyment to all who participate.”
Ax-throwing venues have opened in Connecticut recently, including one called Blue Ox Ax Throwing in Wallingford. At Blue Ox, as at many axe throwing facilities, customers are allowed to bring their own beer and wine, but not hard liquor. Other venues, like Montana Nights Axe Throwing in Newington, have received permits to serve alcohol.
Ax throwing originated as a competitive sport in Canada and has become popular in several major U.S. markets, including San Francisco and New York. Blue Ox Ax Throwing was the third ax throwing business to open in Connecticut. Other locations include Hartford and Newington.