Abilene Axe Company has moved to a new location in the SoDA District, surrounded by the KAO Lounge, Sockdolager Brewing Co., Honey & Fig Gelato and the SoDA District Courtyard.
This move comes from an end to the business’ lease on behalf of the landlord when he decided to move in a new direction with the old building.
Drew Long, deputy director of athletics for internal operations, said that this was a process as they were able to finish out their lease while simultaneously moving to the new location.
“It’s been 6 to 8 months in the making,” Long said. “We were on a year-to-year lease at the old location and then the building owner decided to go in a different direction. We finished out our year lease when we found this place. We began to fix up this place and cut the square footage in half. Next, we started to move the wooden panels here while still trying to keep it running over at the other location.”
With the move, Long said they built new ‘end grain’ targets that are softer and easier to throw into as well as figuring out how to maximize the space they purchased.
“The old place was about 2,000 sq. ft. more than it is here but we also had a lot of unused space over there,” Long said. “We really only have one less target here than at the previous location. We talked to our landlords, and we thought the space was great, but when we saw the sticker price we asked them to cut the space in half and see if we can work with that.”
As Abilene Axe has started at the new location, Long said that business has been great, especially since being surrounded by other businesses with established relationships with one another.
“We’re good friends with the people over at the KAO Lounge, Sockdolager Brewing Co., the ladies at Fig & Honey,” Long said. “In our first two weekends, we saw a lot of walk-in traffic that we didn’t have at the previous location, so we’re excited about that and maybe expanding our hours to match with some of the other surrounding businesses.”
Long said that because of how close each business is he anticipates it will continue to get better as more people come to the SoDA District for food, drinks and entertainment.
“We think being able to partner with the surrounding businesses will help a lot, especially since we are BYOB and bring your own food,” Long said. “Being able to have a small menu to encourage people to go to those places and bring food, gelato or a six-pack over would be great. We’re really excited about kind of being the ‘entertainment’ in this spot. There are a lot of cool places to go to before or after coming here.”
Although business for Abilene Axe has been good, Long said that balancing working for ACU and running a business has been challenging.
“It was a lot of late nights; me and Cory [Driskill] have full-time jobs over at ACU, so it would be finishing work at 6-7 p.m. and then coming over from 7:30-11 p.m.,” Long said.
However, Driskill, associate athletic director for sports performance and business partner, said they have been able to hire people who have helped them out in running the location.
“I think in the beginning we weren’t sure how we were going to be able to [balance our jobs at ACU and run a business], but we found a good crew of employees that we really trust as well as managers that are really good,” Driskill said. “They do a good job with the day-to-day operations, so it’s been an easy transition having them to help us.”
Long and Driskill are planning their party for Abilene Axe Company’s two-year anniversary which they hope to include indoor and outdoor axe throwing as well as live music on the nearby stage.
Abilene Axe Company is now located on 822 South 2nd St.