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Crystal Lake City Council approves permit for ax throwing lounge

City Council unanimously approves permit Tuesday

The City Council unanimously approved an alternative use permit Tuesday night for an ax throwing lounge.
The City Council unanimously approved an alternative use permit Tuesday night for an ax throwing lounge.

An ax throwing lounge is headed to Crystal Lake.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an alternative use permit for Angelo Douros, who plans to open a 3,100-square-foot establishment at 975 Nimco Drive, Unit D, in the coming months. The space, located west of Route 31 and north of James R. Rakow Road, is in a vacant industrial building.

Earlier this month, the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission recommended that the City Council provide the establishment an alternative use permit so it can operate in the area currently zoned for manufacturing.

The alternative use approval is valid for three years, unless an extension is granted, senior city planner Elizabeth Maxwell said. The three-year time frame allows the business to operate and garner support so the city can determine if it would be acceptable to amend the unified development ordinance to permanently allow the business.

Similar commercial recreation, uses such as batting cages and ice rinks, are specially permitted.

Douros will have to apply for building and occupancy permits before he opens, Maxwell said. However, she said Douros has been “moving quickly” so he can open later this year.

“We don’t have any other ax throwing [establishments],” Maxwell said.

The ax throwing must take place in caged areas, similar to batting cages. Groups would rent a cage and receive a tutorial on how to throw the axes before playing, according to city documents. No alcohol would be allowed on-site.

There are a total of 161 parking spaces available at the property, with 65 parking spaces on the west side of the building where the unit is located.

Maxwell said larger cities already have such establishments and the trend is moving toward the suburbs because of high demand.

Douros said he’ll name the establishment Spartan Axe Throwing. He hopes to open in August or September.

Douros said ax throwing is becoming a phenomenon.

“It’s good for families, fun, date nights, group events, corporate events,” he said Wednesday, adding that he’s “very happy” the council approved his plans.

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