Morgan Austin, founder of popular pizza chain Johnny Dough’s, is behind the new venture on 145 Upper Mostyn Street.
It is due to open in the next three or four weeks.
Speaking about the change of direction, Morgan – who has restaurants in Llandudno, Conwy, Colwyn Bay, Penmaenmawr and Rhos-on-Sea, said: “We are going to see a huge change in the restaurant scene in the next six months – they are just not profitable.
“This is indoors and I think, we are very short of indoor things to do for tourists, hen and stag parties etc. At the moment yes, people say – ‘how long is it going to last?’ and the answer is – it doesn’t matter. Everything is built to be made into something else afterwards. If it last five years…for example, laser quest lasted five years, these fad sometimes do come and last a bit longer than you think.”
Axe-throwing bars and the sport of axe-throwing is believed to have originated in Toronto, Canada.
The activity involves flinging an axe at a target.
“There is a lot less staff involved in this [venture],” Morgan said.
“It has got a license for beer and things like that but obviously there are restrictions. If people turn up intoxicated, they will be turned away – they can’t do it. There is rules in place.
“I have been to a lot of these around the country and spoken to a lot of different people who work at these venues and they don’t actually get a lot of trouble. They are in Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham where, in terms of where things could go wrong, the percentage is higher.”
Recruitment is currently going well ahead of opening.
“We have had a few applications through,” Morgan said.
“We have got someone to run it. A different skill set up is required. You need someone that is able to talk and interact with participants but also someone that is thoughtful, controlled. You are chucking axes so there will be supervision. We aren’t going to run the after venue drinking yet… we are going to wait to see how the staffing structure works out first. If we don’t need to open after 9pm to let people sit in and drink, we won’t. We will run it as the axe throwing activity to start.
“It is going to be very efficent. Glasswear is going to be non-existent.
“Logistically businesses need as limited staff as possible because labour has gone up 54 per cent in seven years.
“My wage bill just recently was £63,000.”
Morgan is feeling positive about the new axe-throwing bar.
“We can do competitions in the off-season – there is lots of potential,” he said.
“You come in, play your match, go against another team / business, then go and order your pizza from Johnny Dough’s.
“We will eventually do food – pre-dinner food like bowling alley stuff – nachos etc. I want to just open it first.”
Asked if this could turn into another chain, Morgan said: “There is a lot of cost involved in these things.
“If I can come across something innovative, something that is a bit different and not the ‘norm’, then maybe. Maybe I could start a bow and arrow place called ‘Johnny Bows’!”