Friday, December 8, 2023

New Owners of Axe Republic Reflect on Their First Year

Axe Republic owners Lydia Hertzler and Matthew Murnion celebrate one year of ownership (WYDaily/Jillian Appel)

WILLIAMSBURG — Williamsburg’s Lydia Hertzler and Matthew Murnion discovered a shared interest on their third date — axe throwing at Axe Republic in New Town — in 2019. In April of 2022, they became the owners.

A few changes have been made since the duo took the reins. Safety changes have been a key concern. Horse mats have been added to absorb more of the possible bounce back from axes, as well as the addition of a top cage, and resecuring everything on the throwing wall.

Axe Republic also now sells axes in its pro shop.

“I want to get more into services with the pro shop,” Murnion explained. “But right now we just sell axes and we sharpen them. There are a lot of things that are going to come down the pipeline soon but just haven’t happened yet.”

“We’ve made expansions to the menu as well,” Hertzler added. “The beer menu has probably doubled, maybe tripled since we took over. It’s like eight pages long now. And we’ve changed around most of the food as well while keeping that core snacky bar food but like the next level up.” 

The couple said they have enjoyed their time running the business together so far, as well as the variety of people they have had the opportunity to meet and the events they have been able to host and experience. .

“When we first took over, Retail Alliance was doing their Retailer of the Year awards a month or two after we took over,” Hertzler explained. “We didn’t know it at the time, but Axe Republic was actually nominated for one of their bigger awards, the Raising Star Award. So after we took over we got this huge award. So that was kind of crazy but really fun to be a part of.”

“I also really enjoy getting immersed into the sport,” Murnion added. “Getting more experience with axe throwing, trying tons of different axes, and shopping around to see what’s best for our range and people.”

“I’ve been able to connect with other axe ring owners in the area south and north of us. Everyone I talk to is super friendly and super family-oriented. It’s not so much standoffish. It’s a good community,” Murnion added as well. “We’re even talking about doing co-op leagues.”

Coinciding with the one-year anniversary, the Axe Republic glow throw will take place for three days, from April 14-16. April 16 will also feature yoga and axe throwing as a glow throw yoga and axe throwing combo.

Axe Republic’s spring league will also be starting with a social on March 29 before holding its first session on April 5. The league will then run for a total of six weeks.

“It’s just another fun aspect having our league running during our anniversary month,” Hertzler said.

Axe Republic has more in the works and is excited to share them with the community — for more information about Axe Republic, visit its official webpage.

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