The ax throwing facility is slated to open in Bristol the first week of December
By Samantha Bambino
For those seeking some much-needed stress relief this holiday season, the latest business to call Bristol Borough home may be the answer.
Slated to open its doors at 1501 Grundy Lane during the first week of December, Stumpy’s Hatchet House will be a one-stop-shop for socializing, casual eating and drinking, and, of course, ax throwing.
Ahead of Stumpy’s public debut, The Times caught up with co-owner Jennifer Runyon, who shared details on the franchise, what makes the Bucks County location unique, and why, in her opinion, people are so drawn to the idea of chucking sharp tools against a wall.
The dream of opening a local Stumpy’s has been more than two years in the making. In June 2016, Runyon and Mike Keeley, her longtime friend and business partner, visited the original location in Eatontown, New Jersey. The two instantly fell in love with the experience. It was enjoyable, laidback, and an activity neither were previously familiar with.
“We decided that it was something different, and something that I think is up-and-coming in a way,” Runyon said.
Soon after, she and Keeley discovered that the company was franchising, and they wanted in on the action. By January 2018, they had obtained permission from Stumpy’s and began the search for an ideal spot. Though both currently reside in Jackson, New Jersey, they set out to bring the Stumpy’s name to Pennsylvania.
“We originally looked at Philadelphia, but we thought we’d do really well in a market that’s outside of the city,” Runyon said.
When a broker gave them a tour of the 1501 Grundy Lane building, they knew they didn’t have to look any further. Not only was the space an impressive 10,000-square-feet, it also boasted an abundance of parking and wasn’t a far commute from their New Jersey homes.
According to Runyon, construction is almost complete and final permits are being approved. Once it’s officially up and running, Stumpy’s Hatchet House Bucks County will feature 11 pits and customizable visits, which Runyon outlined.
All customers will be required to sign a waiver and participate in a brief training by an “axpert” for safety purposes. Groups of 1–4 people can rent a pit for one hour at $20 per person, and groups of five or more are encouraged to rent a pit for two hours at $40 per person. Guests are welcome to have competitions or keep their visit more relaxed by bringing food and drinks. Stumpy’s is BYOB and visitors must be 21 or older.
“It’s social. You can throw continuously or you can throw for a bit, sit back for a bit, have your beverage and continue it again,” Runyon said. “What makes us different is we’re cozy. We have the farmhouse tables, we have the farmhouse couches.”
At Stumpy’s, Runyon guaranteed that each group gets their own pit — they’ll never have to share with another party. Eventually, Stumpy’s will open a “woodshed room,” which larger groups can rent out for team-building events, Christmas parties and bachelor/bachelorette celebrations.
So why exactly has ax throwing become such an in-demand activity?
“It becomes addicting. And once you hit the target, it’s great. A lot of the women end up hitting the target more than the men because it really just requires a light toss,” Runyon said. “It’s just a fun night out. It’s just something to do I think, and I have to tell you, it’s a good arm workout after a while.”
As final renovations come to a close, Runyon expressed gratitude toward her new Bristol community, which embraced her and Keeley with open arms.
“We’ve been loving the area, getting to know people,” she said. “Everybody has been really welcoming and friendly, and really looking for something to do. I love the Mill Street area and we’re not that far from it.”
Though everything is tentative at the moment, Runyon said she hopes to sell gift certificates online and onsite on Black Friday. She and Keeley are also looking to partner with local breweries.••
Visit StumpysBucksCounty.com or facebook.com/StumpysBucksCounty, or call 1–267–553-AXES for more information and updates.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org