LINCOLN — When an ax-throwing venue also wants to be able to serve alcohol, the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission has a lot of questions.
Matt Wyant, the owner of Flying Timber at 1507 Farnam St., had answers about the unconventional bar concept that has popped up in cities across the nation.
Hobert Rupe, executive director of the commission, said the business model was interesting and a new concept to the state.
“The idea of axes being thrown at targets with alcohol raises some concerns,” Rupe said.
Wyant said it was more like throwing darts in a controlled environment and not like playing tag with axes, as some people think.
The owner came to Wednesday’s hearing before the commission prepared with photos of his facility, a letter from his insurance company and a safety plan.
There will be throwing coaches watching over patrons as they throw the axes at wooden targets in eight individual throwing lanes.
Alcohol sales will be secondary to the ax-throwing, Wyant said. All of the alcohol will be in cans, and there will be no mixed drinks.
The license was approved with conditions requested by the City of Omaha, such as no alcohol in the throwing area and a wristband system for minors.
Ax-throwers must be at least 12 years old.
Wyant’s establishment might be the first of its kind in the city, but he predicted that Omaha will have several similar locations by the end of the year.
“These are very, very popular,” he said. “It’s good, affordable family and adult entertainment and fun.”
Wyant said after the hearing that he was pleased to be finished with the state’s process.
In other action on Wednesday, the commission again fined Lincoln sports bar Barry’s Bar and Grill.
The bar must pay a $500 fine in lieu of a five-day suspension of its liquor license. The popular bar at Ninth and Q Streets in downtown Lincoln will also be required to continue following certain conditions put in place by the commission earlier this year after repeated violations.
Barry’s was accused of over-serving a 21-year-old man, although the bar’s lawyers argued that the man’s blood alcohol content was low enough that it exonerates the establishment.
The incident at the bar happened on Jan. 13, before the commission put certain requirements on the bar. Those requirements include having extra staff looking for over-served patrons, eliminating multiple drinks promotions, increasing shot prices by $1, running drink promotions by the commission and ending bottle service, which lets customers buy an entire bottle of liquor.
Before handing down the latest fine, Commissioner Bruce Bailey said that so far, those conditions are being followed at the bar, but he noted that the majority of college students are gone for the summer.
No one from Barry’s spoke at the meeting Wednesday. A message left with the attorney for the bar was not immediately returned Wednesday.