Meridian Industrial


1/30/2020 | Vicki Mitchell


Is it a sport, a competition, a game, or all three? “It” refers to axe throwing, and although it’s been around for hundreds of years, it is becoming a popular pastime as axe throwing houses continue to
spread throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Currently, there are only about 200 such establishments in the United States, and the newest is located in Enfield, Connecticut. Odin’s Keep Axe House just held its Grand Opening celebration in January, complete with Bear’s Smokehouse Barbeque serving food and radio station ROCK 102 WAQY on-site for added entertainment.

Described as “an exciting, family oriented entertainment center that specializes in axe throwing” by Merle McKenzie, one of the three owners, Odin’s Keep also offers an arcade area. In addition to the throwing pits, guests may also have fun playing pool, foosball, the world’s largest Pac-Man, Connect4, air hockey and more in the arcade area. There is even a Viking chess set available on one of the custom made tables for those who desire a more cerebral pursuit.

For those who want to take part in the axe throwing action, making prior reservations on-line is highly recommended. Before entering the caged-off pit area, which contains the wooden targets you’ll be aiming for, you will have an instructional and safety lesson from your assigned “axe-master,” who will stay with you in the pit at all times. In addition to overseeing the safety of everyone in their group, the axe-master will also conduct games, which “makes the experience a lot of fun, and much more interesting than just throwing an axe at a piece of wood,” according to McKenzie. An average pit holds up to 12 people, although only two are actually in the throwing pit at a time. According to one of several YouTube videos on how to throw an axe, success depends more on form and function rather than on strength or power.

The owners of Odin’s Keep, Glenn Perra, Guy Marino, and McKenzie, have undertaken previous enterprises together before. McKenzie and Perra are life-long friends who were involved in business ventures previously, including several CrossFit gyms in Connecticut, and another axe throwing bar in Newington named Montana Nights. The third owner, Marino, met McKenzie at one of his gyms, and eventually became involved with the axe throwing venture.

In fact, he and another friend hand-built much of the furniture in Odin’s Keep, including the 17 foot long Viking boat bar, in keeping with the overall Viking theme that they chose. Each throwing pit has a unique custom made round table for the players’ drinks and snacks, and there are numerous handmade picnic style tables located throughout the establishment. Wall murals, carved figures, a throne complete with props, and even the carefully chosen lights, all add to the theme. Odin, the most powerful god in Viking mythology, has taken on many shapes on various occasions, but is always pictured with only one eye. That is because he sacrificed his other eye to gain wisdom in order to save the world.

Odin’s Keep serves canned and bottled beers, wine and soft drinks, and has packaged snacks available. Patrons are allowed to bring in their own food, or have something delivered to enjoy at the picnic tables located throughout the establishment. There is also a semiprivate room, referred to as Valhalla, with its own throwing pits and seating area, which may be rented out for private parties and/or corporate events. In Norse mythology, the god Odin housed the worthy dead in Valhalla, where they “lived” in a style which was the envy of any Viking warrior.

The owners are proud of their beer selection, which includes popular national brands, and local craft beers, such as selections from the Maine Beer Company, Happy Treez India pale ale, and Einstok, an Icelandic toasted porter. They also carry various brands of mead, wine, and apparently on occasion the “blood of their enemies!”

A group of friends who were part of a busy night recently were enthusiastic in their praise. “It’s really nice in here…it’s an awesome environment,” said Kim Wiesner. Her friend, Kim Humiston, added “getting the axe to stick in the target is harder than it looks, but super fun!” Another patron called their outing “a night with friends away from the kids,” and Stacie Zimowski called the endeavor a “fun challenge.”

Enfield mayor Michael Ludwick says of the new enterprise, “we welcome them into town, and we certainly wish them the very best of luck and many years of success here in the Town of Enfield. I personally look forward in the near future to “giving it a throw!” The owners pride themselves on “safety, the thought and planning they put into the décor, and how much fun they have tried to make the experience.” As Glenn Perra says, “We are now the proud owners of Odin’s Keep Axe House! We look forward to introducing the public to our one-of-a kind décor and an amazing ‘axe-perience.’”

HOURS ARE: Monday Closed
Tuesday to Thursday 4PM to 10PM
Friday 4PM to Midnight
Saturday 1:15PM to Midnight
Sunday 1:15PM to 8PM

A 75 minute session of axe throwing is $25.00 per person, plus tax and gratuity for the “axe-master.”

Arcade games are pay as you go.

Odin’s Keep is located at 630 Enfield Street, in the Enfield Plaza in Enfield.
Website is Phone is 860-776-0006

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