The mall’s new ax throwing bar has made its debut in overcoming the pitfalls of the coronavirus pandemic and a change in leadership at Stony Point Fashion Park.
Stumpy’s Hatchet House opened on Wednesday in the Southside Mall and features 10 litter tracks in an area of 6,700 square feet in the Dillard Hall. In addition to ax throwing, Stumpy’s serves food and has 20 self-service beer taps.
Joe Szymczak, the franchisee of the New Jersey-based company’s first local outpost, said he was hoping to open in spring 2020 but was derailed by two main factors.
“The pandemic that caused everything to stall and the other thing we didn’t see coming was Starwood’s standard and the change in the management team,” said Szymczak.
Former Stony Point owner Starwood Retail Partners defaulted on loan payments at the mall and lost control of the property to a special servicer last year. The mall is now managed by Woodmont Co.
“Getting everyone on the same page (was a challenge),” said Szymczak of the change in leadership. “There we were, Starwood, with whom we signed the lease, and Woodmont, but our contractor was also involved. Everything worked out. “
Szymczak declined to elaborate, but said Woodmont was essentially uninterested in some of the things Starwood promised him in the initial lease.
The first Stumpy’s opened in New Jersey in 2016. The company’s website listed 27 locations and 12 upcoming locations on Tuesday, including two more in Virginia in Leesburg and Fairfax.
A one-hour ax throwing session costs $ 25 per person. The Stony Point site has 15 employees, but plans to add another five.
Stumpy’s arrives as the youngest entertainment tenant in Stony Point, a trend among American malls that is different from the traditional retail experience. The escape room concept Gnome & Raven is also located in Stony Point.
When Stumpy’s opened its doors, Les Crepes restaurant moved from its place in the mall in favor of a new location in Gayton Crossing. The mall’s T-Mobile store closed in December.
Although more and more tenants have left Stony Point in recent years, Szymczak was optimistic about the mall and the potential of the ax area.
“Stony Point had some issues during and before the pandemic, but we are confident that this is a target business,” said Szymczak. “We think we’re going to bring a younger crowd to the mall. You can’t throw an ax on the internet. “