News

Ax-throwing lounge approved in Pleasanton

With permit secured, Limitless hopes to open bar/game venue by end of year

The Tri-Valley could see its first ax-throwing lounge opening this winter after the Pleasanton Planning Commission signed off on a use permit for the new recreational game venue on Wednesday night.

Aiming to capitalize on the growing popularity of ax-throwing as a hobby or evening-out activity, Michael Hill -- who also operates Limitless Escape Games in Livermore -- plans to open Limitless Axes & Ales in the Valley Plaza shopping center, inside the tenant suites currently occupied by Monument Car Parts.

"For us, Pleasanton is the absolute perfect spot for an ax-throwing lounge," Hill told the Weekly after the meeting.

"There is a major gap in the entertainment segment, and I feel the people who live in Pleasanton want something to call their own since most entertainment activities are in neighboring Tri-Valley cities Another reason is that we really focus on catering to large corporate team building events," he added.

Ax-throwing, which is more common in Canada and the eastern United States, involves individual participants in fenced-in lanes tossing an ax toward target rings on a wooden board to accrue points based on the blade's distance from the center. With some highly competitive tournaments broadcast on ESPN and streaming platforms, ax-throwing has also been showcased locally the past few years at the annual Scottish Games.

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The Pleasanton Municipal Code does not specifically contemplate an ax-throwing lounge as a commercial use, but city staff classified it akin to bowling alley, pool hall and indoor bocce court -- a business category that requires a conditional use permit approved by the Planning Commission.

The conversation before the commission on Wednesday evening centered on the proposed location, safety standards and operational strategy of the proposed lounge, according to assistant city manager Brian Dolan.

Limitless Axes & Ales would occupy Suites A and B in the multi-tenant commercial building at the western edge of Valley Plaza, which is located at the northwest corner of Santa Rita Road and Valley Avenue.

In the 4,300 square feet, the lounge would feature seven throwing lanes, a bar serving beer and wine, seating areas, a lobby and restrooms. Each lane would be fenced in to prevent thrown axes from going into other lanes or elsewhere in the building.

There would be two throwers at a time, hurling the ax end-over-end toward different targets watched by an employee. A viewing area behind the lane could accommodate up to 10 people total.

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"As proposed, the activity would be heavily monitored for safety by the applicant who would have a coach assigned to each lane in operation who would provide step-by-step directions to all participants on how to throw an ax as well as monitor safety regulations," city associate planner Jennifer Hagen wrote in her staff report.

Hill presented to the commissioners about his operational plan for Limitless Axes & Ales and answered their questions about proposed safety standards and other topics, according to Dolan.

The commission also heard from two residents of the nearby Danbury Park area who raised concerns about an ax-throwing lounge opening close to their neighborhood, Dolan said.

In the end, the commission voted 4-1 to approve the use permit and associated operational conditions as recommended by city staff, while also adding a condition limiting alcohol sales to two servings per patron per hour.

Commissioner Nancy Allen dissented, generally opposed to the lounge opening in a neighborhood shopping center (rather than, say, an industrial park) and the potential danger of the activity, especially when coupled with drinking.

The operator hopes to open the business by the end of December, according to Hagen.

A manager at Monument Car Parts -- the tenant currently operating in the space (1809 Santa Rita Road, Suites A and B) -- said Friday the store remains in business and he had no information on lease negotiations nor a potential closing or relocation.

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Ax-throwing lounge approved in Pleasanton

With permit secured, Limitless hopes to open bar/game venue by end of year

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Aug 16, 2019, 4:23 pm
Updated: Sun, Aug 18, 2019, 4:20 pm

The Tri-Valley could see its first ax-throwing lounge opening this winter after the Pleasanton Planning Commission signed off on a use permit for the new recreational game venue on Wednesday night.

Aiming to capitalize on the growing popularity of ax-throwing as a hobby or evening-out activity, Michael Hill -- who also operates Limitless Escape Games in Livermore -- plans to open Limitless Axes & Ales in the Valley Plaza shopping center, inside the tenant suites currently occupied by Monument Car Parts.

"For us, Pleasanton is the absolute perfect spot for an ax-throwing lounge," Hill told the Weekly after the meeting.

"There is a major gap in the entertainment segment, and I feel the people who live in Pleasanton want something to call their own since most entertainment activities are in neighboring Tri-Valley cities Another reason is that we really focus on catering to large corporate team building events," he added.

Ax-throwing, which is more common in Canada and the eastern United States, involves individual participants in fenced-in lanes tossing an ax toward target rings on a wooden board to accrue points based on the blade's distance from the center. With some highly competitive tournaments broadcast on ESPN and streaming platforms, ax-throwing has also been showcased locally the past few years at the annual Scottish Games.

The Pleasanton Municipal Code does not specifically contemplate an ax-throwing lounge as a commercial use, but city staff classified it akin to bowling alley, pool hall and indoor bocce court -- a business category that requires a conditional use permit approved by the Planning Commission.

The conversation before the commission on Wednesday evening centered on the proposed location, safety standards and operational strategy of the proposed lounge, according to assistant city manager Brian Dolan.

Limitless Axes & Ales would occupy Suites A and B in the multi-tenant commercial building at the western edge of Valley Plaza, which is located at the northwest corner of Santa Rita Road and Valley Avenue.

In the 4,300 square feet, the lounge would feature seven throwing lanes, a bar serving beer and wine, seating areas, a lobby and restrooms. Each lane would be fenced in to prevent thrown axes from going into other lanes or elsewhere in the building.

There would be two throwers at a time, hurling the ax end-over-end toward different targets watched by an employee. A viewing area behind the lane could accommodate up to 10 people total.

"As proposed, the activity would be heavily monitored for safety by the applicant who would have a coach assigned to each lane in operation who would provide step-by-step directions to all participants on how to throw an ax as well as monitor safety regulations," city associate planner Jennifer Hagen wrote in her staff report.

Hill presented to the commissioners about his operational plan for Limitless Axes & Ales and answered their questions about proposed safety standards and other topics, according to Dolan.

The commission also heard from two residents of the nearby Danbury Park area who raised concerns about an ax-throwing lounge opening close to their neighborhood, Dolan said.

In the end, the commission voted 4-1 to approve the use permit and associated operational conditions as recommended by city staff, while also adding a condition limiting alcohol sales to two servings per patron per hour.

Commissioner Nancy Allen dissented, generally opposed to the lounge opening in a neighborhood shopping center (rather than, say, an industrial park) and the potential danger of the activity, especially when coupled with drinking.

The operator hopes to open the business by the end of December, according to Hagen.

A manager at Monument Car Parts -- the tenant currently operating in the space (1809 Santa Rita Road, Suites A and B) -- said Friday the store remains in business and he had no information on lease negotiations nor a potential closing or relocation.

Comments

Mitch
another community
on Aug 18, 2019 at 6:36 pm
Mitch, another community
on Aug 18, 2019 at 6:36 pm
19 people like this

kicking out monument for an ax throwing lounge (whatever that is) seems short sided.


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 18, 2019 at 10:36 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 18, 2019 at 10:36 pm
19 people like this

I prefer monument


Steve
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2019 at 8:04 am
Steve, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2019 at 8:04 am
7 people like this

Short sided? I think you mean short sighted, as in lacking foresight.


Vigy
Registered user
Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Aug 19, 2019 at 9:34 am
Vigy, Walnut Grove Elementary School
Registered user
on Aug 19, 2019 at 9:34 am
4 people like this

Nobody fixes their own cars anymore.


Dan
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2019 at 10:11 am
Dan, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2019 at 10:11 am
3 people like this

This looks like a fun place. I've seen these in other cities. Looking forward to it!


Pinkie
Del Prado
on Aug 19, 2019 at 10:26 am
Pinkie, Del Prado
on Aug 19, 2019 at 10:26 am
6 people like this


You wait...first axe accident of a body part and the place is history


Pleasantonian
Del Prado
on Aug 19, 2019 at 10:36 am
Pleasantonian, Del Prado
on Aug 19, 2019 at 10:36 am
8 people like this

I’m neutral on axe-throwing, although it seems like a niche thing that doesn’t have to be right in the center of a mid-town shopping center. We’ll have to see how the drinking/rowdy game-playing plays out here. I will definitely miss having Monument car parts there! They have been super helpful with several of my cars, saving me a lot of money on simple replacements/repairs that would have been really costly to have done by a shop. Seems like kind of bad-faith dealings by the commercial landlord (surprise surprise) with no notification that their lease wouldn’t be renewed.


Bill
Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 19, 2019 at 12:01 pm
Bill, Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 19, 2019 at 12:01 pm
7 people like this

The real story is that a local auto parts store is getting kicked out of their spot! Where's Monument going? What a horrible way for a tenant to hear they are being kicked out. Note to the axe business...you have a snake for a landlord.


Kevin
Livermore
on Aug 19, 2019 at 12:34 pm
Kevin, Livermore
on Aug 19, 2019 at 12:34 pm
6 people like this

The article doesn't portray the facts. The lease was up for Monument (not getting kicked out), and the owner of Monument has known about the potential of a new tennant for months. They were obviously waiting for the conditions to be lifted. Also, it is the responsibility of Monument's owner to notify employees as they see fit.


Lots of people fix their cars
Danbury Park
on Aug 19, 2019 at 12:57 pm
Lots of people fix their cars, Danbury Park
on Aug 19, 2019 at 12:57 pm
8 people like this

and Monument does a great job, at a fair price.

They also provide good guidance, and if they don't have it, usually they will order it for you, or get it from another store.

I certainly hope they do not move or close.

AND ax throwing with "only 2 drinks per hour" sounds like a recipe for disaster!


Sandra
Danbury Park
on Aug 19, 2019 at 2:26 pm
Sandra, Danbury Park
on Aug 19, 2019 at 2:26 pm
2 people like this

I went to one of these places in New York. It was very safe and monitored. We also had a "coach" which taught us how to throw. I actually did really well and had a glass of Chardonnay, too. Welcome to the neighborhood!


Lee
Castlewood
on Aug 19, 2019 at 2:30 pm
Lee, Castlewood
on Aug 19, 2019 at 2:30 pm
2 people like this

This sounds like a total blast! What a fun business concept! Pleasanton desperatley needs more entertianment venues lik this. Will be a great place to bring my company for team building, and a uniqe date night for my wife and I! Can't wait!


Britney
Ruby Hill
on Aug 19, 2019 at 2:34 pm
Britney , Ruby Hill
on Aug 19, 2019 at 2:34 pm
2 people like this

This is AMAZING for Pleasanton! Will be great for other Pleasanton businesses too like the resatuarnts nearby. I know residents have been wanting more fun venues to come to the city and this is going to be great fun! My kids can't wait to visit and have their birthday party here!


Rich
Stoneridge
on Aug 19, 2019 at 2:52 pm
Rich, Stoneridge
on Aug 19, 2019 at 2:52 pm
2 people like this

Seems fun!


PleasRes
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2019 at 3:06 pm
PleasRes, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 19, 2019 at 3:06 pm
10 people like this

Why do we [removed] need this? Alcohol and axe throwing—problem??? Ya think????


Susie sunshine
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2019 at 3:52 pm
Susie sunshine, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2019 at 3:52 pm
9 people like this

Yay!! Get drunk at Sunshine Saloon and meander over to the ax throwing place. Do they monitor how much you’ve had before you get there? Sad about Monument Car parts.


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 19, 2019 at 9:35 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Aug 19, 2019 at 9:35 pm
2 people like this

Vigy,
Speak for yourself.


James Michael
Registered user
Val Vista
on Aug 19, 2019 at 9:42 pm
James Michael, Val Vista
Registered user
on Aug 19, 2019 at 9:42 pm
5 people like this

I'm pretty sure that they won't allow "drunks" to throw an ax. If they did then their insurance, which is probably high, would be cancelled. I hope they also include knife throwing...bring your own Ka-Bar, but what we really need is a nice indoor shooting range that is reasonably priced for both firearms and co2.


Allan
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2019 at 8:34 am
Allan, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2019 at 8:34 am
5 people like this

I have been to the one in Berkely. You can't just wander in drunk an pick up an ax. LOL . You can however do that at any Home Depot or even the Ace Hardware across the street and no one would bat an eye :) BTW I will miss Monument, but it is getting pretty run down.


Kristine
Vineyard Hills
on Aug 20, 2019 at 2:31 pm
Kristine, Vineyard Hills
on Aug 20, 2019 at 2:31 pm
6 people like this

Oh Yes Pleasanton, just what we need....A bar, that breeds drunks every weekend, then they can go over and throw Axes...Yeah...Great Job. What a Joke


Dave
Amador Estates
on Aug 20, 2019 at 3:02 pm
Dave, Amador Estates
on Aug 20, 2019 at 3:02 pm
Like this comment

I love the idea. Finally something to do in Pleasanton!


Kathy
Golden Eagle
on Aug 20, 2019 at 3:04 pm
Kathy, Golden Eagle
on Aug 20, 2019 at 3:04 pm
Like this comment

I think they're open similar to restaurant hours. When my kids come to visit we can do this as a family.


Axe Kicker
San Ramon
on Aug 20, 2019 at 3:05 pm
Axe Kicker, San Ramon
on Aug 20, 2019 at 3:05 pm
Like this comment

Woohoo! Love this!!!!


Bill
Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 20, 2019 at 10:39 pm
Bill, Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 20, 2019 at 10:39 pm
2 people like this

So the real snake is Monuments owner who left his staff hanging, so they could find out they are being let go via Ptown Weekly? I'm probably not a fan of the owner or the landlord.


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