Frederick County Delegation Supports Bill To Allow Ax-Throwing Venues To Sell Alcohol.

It would be limited to beer and wine sales.

Ax throwing at Stumpy’s Hatchet House  (photo from Stumpy’;s Hatchet House)

Annapolis, Md (KM) Beer and wine could be served at ax-throwing venues in Maryland under a bill approved by Frederick County Delegation. Local lawmakers voted in support of that legislation during their meeting last week. This measure now goes to the full General Assembly where it will be heard by a committee, and undergo a vote.

There is already such a venue in Frederick, Stumpy’s Hatchet House on Wedgewood Boulevard. The establishment allows patrons to bring their own alcohol for personal consumption, but it does not have a license to sell booze. If this legislation is enacted,  alcohol sales  at Stumpy’s  and other such venues would be limited to beer and wine; no hard liquor.

The owner of Stumpy’s Anna Smith, asked the Delegation during a hearing in December to allow her business to sell alcohol. She said it could let  her employees   make a little more money, especially in tips.

State Senator Karen Lewis Young raised some questions about what could happen if this legislation makes it out of the General Assembly, and is signed into law by the Governor. “Any record of accidents or incidents; and what are the safety protocols’ and would this applicant be following the strictest possible safety protocols,” she asked.

Dawn Shugars, the Director of the County Liquor Board, said this legislation would put more controls over consuming alcohol at this establishments once it receives its license to sell beer and wine. . “There’s no food requirements; there’s no anything to control the rate of drinking,” she said. “So this would fall into the criteria of alcohol awareness. It would have our inspectors be visiting there for inspections. So actually, this bill creates more safety in our opinion than it would right now being unregulated.”

Delegate Chris Tomlinson, who represents parts of Frederick and Carroll Counties, said he visited an ax-throwing venue in Hanover, Pennsylvania, and he said it’s not “a free for all” with hatchets and axes flying around. “People are with an individual from the business who is having you throw it one by one, watching, guiding you, training you, “he said. “It’s not as wild and chaotic as it may sound.”

Delegation Chair Jesse Pippy agreed. “The beys, the hatchet throwing beys, are apart from each other,” he said. “So it’s not like everyone is in a room throwing hatchets at each other.”

“It’s somewhat akin to throwing darts.” added Delegate Ken Kerr.

There is another Stumpy’s Hatchet House in Columbia, Maryland.

By Kevin McManus