JJ’s plans beer hall, ax-throwing in former store

Aug. 8, 2018

Months after opening its expanded location on West 57th Street, JJ’s Wine, Spirits & Cigars is set to start another business.

JJ’s Axes & Ales, Beer Hall and Beer Store will open in the former shop at 4810 S. Western Ave.

“It’s a good use of space,” owner Tom Slattery said.

Slattery started thinking about how to use the 3,600-square-foot space late last fall when it became apparent subleasing a spot next to Starbucks “was going to be next to impossible given the parking situation during the day,” he said.

“So we decided to develop a concept that was going to be more amenable to the parking situation and our neighbor.”

A friend suggested he look into adding ax-throwing, “so we started investigating the process for building ax-throwing lanes, looked into the rules of play and the insurance liabilities and legalities, and researched the rules we’ll put into place for safety.”

Ax-throwing subsequently came into the market earlier this year as part of Escape 605’s escape-room business.

For JJ’s, it’s an addition to provide entertainment, Slattery said.

Axes & Ales will be open starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and noon Friday through Sunday. It will have 12 beers on tap, including four retro beers, and sell growlers to go.

“And our beer cooler will be stocked with popular packages priced to move,” Slattery said. “Think big box with very competitive case pricing. Think of a wholesale warehouse.”

The ax-throwing will be complemented by other things to do, including shuffleboard and other games, he said. There will be four lanes accommodating four to six people each.

“It’s fun. The vibe we’re going for is a place to relax, watch some football, throw some axes, have a couple beers and hang out with your friends. It’s a neighborhood gathering place,” Slattery said.

The goal is to be open by mid-September. Dylan Baker, an Augustana University graduate and former JJ’s employee, has been hired to manage it, and the store is looking for part-time staff. Bookings for corporate events are being done through dylan@jjsaxes.com.

Job candidates can apply at the new and expanded JJ’s Wine at 3000 W. 57th St.

If all goes well, Slattery said he’ll consider opening more Axes & Ales locations in Sioux Falls and the surrounding area.

“We’ve been in the adult-beverage business a long time and know how to do it right,” he said. “We’re not going to be an ax in the hands of someone who’s intoxicated. We’ll do it right and have fun. It’s a lounge and beer store first.”

JJ’s plans beer hall, ax-throwing in former store

Months after opening its expanded location on West 57th Street, JJ’s Wine, Spirits & Cigars is set to start another business. Here are the details on JJ’s Axes & Ales.

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