Axe throwing isn’t a typical weekend activity for most, but for husband and wife Adam and Renee Schilling, it was something they did regularly in their backyard in Coogee, having discovered the target-striking sport during a trip to Canada. They enjoyed it so much that, in 2014, they founded their own urban axe-throwing company, Maniax, in St Peters. Since then, the couple have opened six other venues – in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth – and are now back in Sydney’s inner west to open their seventh axe-throwing battleground in Marrickville.
This joint is by far Maniax’s largest, with the capacity for 350-axe throwing enthusiasts and beginners. There are seven single “quick chuck” lanes (which can be booked for an hour) and 10 double lanes, which means that – unlike at the duo’s other venues – you no longer have to wait until you have a group of six or more to play.
“The challenge we have at St Peters – and what we’ve learnt in the last eight years – is that everyone has a really great time but there isn’t enough space, so that’s what we’ve tried to improve on,” Renee says.
Broadsheet Access members get special tables at busy restaurants, tickets to exclusive events and discounts on food, coffee, brand offers and more.Find out more
The Viking-themed space – designed by Alex Zabotto-Bentley, founder of Sydney design firm AZB Creative (The Cumberland, Mjolner, Kittyhawk) – also offers plenty of room to take time out from the competitive sport, with leather banquettes, thick fur rugs, an oversized antler chandelier and chalet-style fireplace. Murals by Sydney illustrator Sindy Sinn (who’s also responsible for Young Henry murals seen across the city) are splashed across the interior and exterior of the new venue.
For a drink, you can head towards a bar that’s been built in a shipping container with its own mezzanine viewing platform. It’s serving a range of craft beers by neighbouring breweries. There’s also a creative list of Viking-inspired cocktails, some of which are served in Viking-style horn mugs. Nectar of the Gods is Maniax’s take on a Gin Fizz, featuring Maxwell Mead liquor, lemon juice, honey syrup and prosecco. Or, opt for the spicy and citrusy Loki’s Trick, with tequila, Cointreau, passionfruit and jalapeno. “You can have a beer while you watch from above the next people throwing after you,” says Renee.
To keep the hunger pangs away there’s a small selection of bar snacks to choose from, or for pre-booked groups of six or more there’s the option to order a grazing board with cured meats, cheese, artisan olives, house-made fruit pastes, fruits and nuts. Plans are also in the works to bring in a rotation of local food trucks.
While this venue has only just opened, the Schillings say there are already plans to launch five more across Australia. “We were going into an expansion scale-up before going into Covid, but now that we’re starting to come out the other end, we’re just kicking off our expansion plans again,” Adam says.
Maniax Sydney Inner West
9–11 Jabez Street, Marrickville