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Jack Axes hops to Rabbittown neighbourhood in St. John's

Axe-throwers rejoice! Jack Axes will be reopening on Merrymeeting Road after the Water Street location closed, with the owners citing concerns with the landlord. -TELEGRAM FILE PHOTO
Axe-throwers rejoice! Jack Axes will be reopening on Merrymeeting Road after the Water Street location closed, with the owners citing concerns with the landlord. -TELEGRAM FILE PHOTO

City council approved the business's move from Water Street despite numerous formal expressions of concern from people in Merrymeeting Road area

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

It’s a bullseye for Jack Axes — the locally-owned axe-throwing venue is moving to Merrymeeting Road after four years on Water Street.

The move was made official with unanimous approval by St. John’s city council at its regular meeting on Tuesday.

In a Facebook post, the company previously cited a “tumultuous relationship” with its Water Street landlord as the main reason for the move.

However, some submissions from Merrymeeting Road area residents to city council expressed concerns with Jack Axes opening on the street in the old Needs Convenience location at 95 Merrymeeting Rd. Of 47 written submissions included in Tuesday’s council agenda, 25 were against seeing the business move in, 16 were in favour and the rest were not clearly for or against.

Mayor Danny Breen said councillors hear feedback in a variety of ways, not just the formal, written submissions that are included in the agenda. Coun. Hope Jamieson said she heard a lot of positive feedback about the move.

Jack Axes/Twitter
Jack Axes/Twitter

Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary said the same, though she admitted she was initially “very reticent” about approving an axe-throwing facility where beer is served for a mixed-use neighbourhood that is largely residential.

However, she said many of the concerns were addressed by the business, and she now believes it will be an asset to the neighbourhood.

Those written submissions opposing the business mostly cited concerns with parking, noise and traffic safety.

Jamieson said the proponent told her rubber cushioning is used on the floor and on the walls behind targets to limit axe-throwing noise, and the music will not be loud.

Coun. Dave Lane said the business has a record of doing great work for the community.

“If you’re going to have an organization move in there that’s going to be responsive to the community’s concerns, it’s these folks,” he said.

Those in favour of having the business open in Rabbittown said it would revive the area, and the owners are community-minded people who often give back to various organizations.

In a post on its Facebook page, Jack Axes made that point, as well.

“We believe we would be a great addition and would work with the locals of the area to better the community as a whole,” reads the post.

“We are always looking for causes to raise money for and would love to direct a portion of that energy to enriching the (Rabbittown) area.”

Once the business is up and running, it will be open seven days a week and will employ eight people. Hours of operation will be Monday through Wednesday, 4-10 p.m., Thursday 4-11 p.m., Friday 4 p.m.-12 a.m., Saturday 12 p.m.-midnight and Sunday 2-10 p.m.

Also at Tuesday’s city council meeting:

Hope Jamieson
Hope Jamieson

• There’s no more Hope on council — Hope Jamieson, that is. Tuesday marked her last day as Ward 2 councillor. She was elected in 2017. In her outgoing speech, Jamieson said she is proud of everything council accomplished in the past few years, such as improved engagement, greater inclusion and a strategy to increase affordable housing. She is leaving council to start a new career as program manager with the Community Housing Transformation Centre. Breen said a byelection will be held within three months to fill Jamieson’s seat.

• Breen responded to photos circulating on social media showing a crowded Sunshine Park beach over the weekend, and reminded people that physical distancing is “vitally important,” but if distance cannot be maintained, then people should wear masks. He said he doesn’t anticipate needing enforcement in public areas to ensure physical distancing, and he also doesn’t anticipate needing to close anything down, but he said the city is always monitoring. “We don’t want to go backwards here, but we would if we had to,” he told reporters.

• An application to subdivide a property at 36 Cabot Ave. in the Battery to build two three-storey homes with in-house garages was approved by council in a 7-3 vote, with Jamieson, Coun. Ian Froude and Coun. Maggie Burton voting against. Coun. Debbie Hanlon was absent. There were 21 written submissions included in council’s agenda from area residents, with 13 expressing concerns with the development, ranging from increased traffic woes to worries that the historic area is becoming more suburban and losing its charm.

Twitter: @juanitamercer_


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