Still concerned about nightlife on Milwaukee’s East Side? Still weirded out when you drive around North Avenue and see the once-busy BBC, Hotel Foster, and Rosati’s dark and empty? Well never fear: in addition to the hundreds of ramen and poke joints the neighborhood is sporting—not to mention that upcoming cat cafe—now it’s getting an axe throwing bar, too. An axe throwing bar. Yep.

AXE MKE is slated to set up shop at 1924 E. Kenilworth Pl., next to Black Cat Alley and between Yokohama and Ma Fischer’s. Marla and David Poytinger, owners of Nine Below, the mini-golf tavern beneath Beans & Barley, will own and operate the place. It’s expected to open this summer.

Axe throwing, you may have heard, is a “thing.” A facility is already coming to Bounce Milwaukee in Bay View. Now there’s gonna be one on the East Side. Huh. The Landmark, by the way, is alive and well.

Here’s the whole press release, followed by some concept drawings.

Axe Throwing Bar Coming to Milwaukee’s East Side

Milwaukee, WI – The East Side will soon be Milwaukee’s #1 destination for experiential entertainment.

Marla and David Poytinger, owners of Nine Below, the mini-golf tavern under Beans & Barley, announced today that they have signed a lease with New Land Enterprises to open an axe throwing bar at 1924 E. Kenilworth Pl, next to Black Cat Alley.

That’s right, a bar where you’ll throw axes. “Think of a cross between bowling and darts,” says Marla. “You can rent a lane or two, grab drinks from the bar, and kick back for some friendly ‘lumberjack-style’ competition. It’s insanely fun.”

AXE MKE will be home to several throwing cages (also known as “pits”), a full bar, and a private event space. The 4,000+ sq. ft. venue also features large windows, cream city brick, exposed steel support beams, and two skylights.

“Within a one block radius, you’ll have AXE MKE, Nine Below, and Landmark Lanes,” said David. “Add in some of the great new restaurants that have opened within walking distance, and you’ve got a pretty epic night out that is unlike any other in the city.”

The couple is well-versed in concept bars. They opened Splash Studio, Milwaukee’s premier painting bar, in the Historic Third Ward nearly six years ago. Nine Below opened in September 2016.

“Axe throwing is a sport that has traditionally been done outside, or in industrial warehouses. We’re bringing it downtown and adding some exciting new elements to make it perfect for an adrenaline-filled adventure, date, private event or even corporate team building,” added Marla.

East Side BID director Kristin Godfrey says the project is a coup for the neighborhood. “I love the direction the East Side is going, and I’m so glad owner/operators like Marla and David are continuing to invest in the area. They know the concept bar industry inside and out, and all of their businesses are professional, safe, and incredibly popular. This will be a great addition to the area, and I can’t wait to throw some axes myself!”

AXE MKE, slated to open this summer, reinforces North Avenue’s resurgence with the recent announcement of Sip & Purr, Milwaukee’s first cat café, and Milwaukee Film Festival’s move to the Oriental Theater this summer. Construction on the project is expected to start immediately.

About The Author

Matt Wild
Co-Founder and Editor

In his spare time, Matt Wild enjoys collecting 8-bit Nintendo games (emulation is for creeps) and fondly remembering the time Milwaukee weatherman Vince Condella caused a stir at his Catholic grade school by showing up with an earring. He lives on Milwaukee's East Side.