AXD Babe in Carbondale strives to make the new normal fun
Axe-throwing lounge opens with desire to build space to make community
The origin story of AXD Babe on its website is part fact and part fiction, but one that came to be from Taylor Freeman’s decision to roadtrip with her dog Finn in her renovated Airstream throughout the West.
“One of the spots we ended up in was the Redwoods and the Paul Bunyan like fable is huge there and I knew nothing about it … (It was) definitely good enough space from here to be able to create something different, something new, and I just wanted to create some fun … that’s where the seed (was) planted, I kept seeing (axe throwing) across the Northwest,” Freeman said.
AXD Babe is a recent addition to the Roaring Fork Valley, having opened up in January 2021, that specializes in recreational axe-throwing. They are currently operating out of an event tent, but once you step inside the environment changes entirely. Freeman and her team gave the decor a rustic yet modern feel, with accent lights strung on the walls and glass-walled fire pits that not only keep one warm from the outdoor elements, but provide a coziness that makes you want to sit down and stay awhile.
“Like this is our new normal. We don’t know what it’s going to be and we don’t know when we’ll get to that. We’re not going back to old normal. We have to reinvent what it’s going to be. So a tent in the backyard is what we got, what we’re gonna work with,” Freeman said.
Freeman previously worked for Aspen Companion Adventures with her brother, a company where they took older adults out and about in an effort to improve their quality of life and maintain a sense of excitement. Freeman said she remembers taking three of the residents, who all happened to be blind, whitewater rafting, solely because they sought out the challenge. To Freeman, she said AXD Babe is trying to take on a similar endeavor now that we all belong to a COVID-19 world.
“(I want it to be a place) where you can still show up alone and still feel welcome. Like those kinds of things where you’re like ‘yeah I want to go do that, I don’t care if no one else wants to go with me or I have a friend that might show up.’ …Also, (for) it not being centralized around drinking. Like it’s there but it’s in the background. Let’s just get together and create community. I think it’s crucial,” Freeman said.
Freeman’s background is as an artist, specializing in installation sculptures, and she said that one of the best parts of AXD Babe has been cultivating the atmosphere.
“My forte is creating spaces … And expecting and knowing what people are going to walk away with … (AXD Babe) is like a temporary installation that invites people to come and engage,” Freeman said.
As the weather continues to warm up, Freeman said she looks forward to hosting league nights, date nights, family days and other special events for community members to partake in. She also wants to be able to feature local musicians for a live music element some nights and encourages locals to reach out to her if they have more ideas on how the space can best be used by and for the community.
“What I would love for people to know is that it’s not just for axe throwing. It’s for people to come hang out … this last week was petrifying, we slowed down so much … you gotta show up now if you want us to stick around,” Freeman said.
Ax’d Babe is developing a menu in addition to the beverages it serves at its bar. To learn more about axe throwing or book a reservation for yourself and your friends, visit their website. Walk-ins are also welcome and the team of lumberjacks will be at your service from 2-10 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 2-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
“Come throw some axes. I felt like everybody needed a healthy outlet and I’m like, it’s so therapeutic. It’s cathartic, it’s meditative, it’s so interesting how present you have to be in your body but also how empowered you feel when you get it.”
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