Temerson Square has long been the epicenter of downtown Tuscaloosa's bar scene, where the staff at staples such as Copper Top, Rhythm and Brews and 1831 have been slinging drinks for years. The district's newest resident though, Civil Axe Throwing, offers something completely different.

As its name suggests, at Civil Axe Throwing, patrons do just one thing -- throw axes at wooden targets. The whole process -- feeling the weight of the instrument in your hand, mastering the throw downrange, the thunk an axe makes when it sinks home -- is extremely cathartic.

General Manager Brendan Messex said Civil Axe Throwing was founded five years ago in Huntsville, Alabama, by Erin and Jorge Lima, who grew the brand and now have franchise locations in the state's largest cities and in other southeastern states, including, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Messex said the Tuscaloosa location, which opened in September, has been thriving. In a few short weeks, attendance in Temerson Square has already rivaled the brand's other, more established spots.

Messex said part of what makes throwing axes appealing is the consistency involved. Throwing the same axe from the same distance at the same target means that even neophytes can quickly learn the physics involved and start hitting their targets in 15 minutes or less.

With the basics under your belt, patrons can switch to lighter one-handed axes or attempt trick shots. Civil Axe employees half a dozen throwing coaches in Tuscaloosa who each have their own styles and methods to teach visitors.

Right now, Civil Axe Throwing is open every Thursday through Sunday, but Messex said the long-term plan is one of steady expansion -- more days open, a rewards program, monthly memberships -- they're even exploring the logistics of opening a bar or restaurant in the basement of the building.

For now, you can walk in to Civil Axe Throwing with a small group or book lanes or the entire venue for private events or corporate get-togethers. Patrons are allowed to bring their own food and drinks, including alcohol, but coaches reserve the right to prevent folks who've had too much to drink from throwing axes.

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