I met Matt Velez when I was volunteering with Work Out Help Out this past April. I had recently gotten a new camera and was taking photos at Phil Hardberger Park where we were spreading mulch in one of the dog parks when he approached me to inquire about my camera. While we were chatting, he told me he had recently moved to San Antonio from New Jersey to help open a business called Stumpy’s Hatchet House. It was through Matt I met Lisamarie, the brains behind getting a Stumpy’s location in San Antonio.
Lisamarie had spent the past 20 years with BBVA Compass working with mortgages. One evening, she received a slew of texts and calls from her sons about Stumpy’s Hatchet House in New Jersey. Intrigued by her sons’ enthusiasm, Lisamarie emailed the Stumpy’s in New Jersey about starting a franchise. Lisamarie didn’t hear a response for months and once she did, she was detoured by the loss of her mother. Nevertheless, the vision prevailed and after starting the process in March of 2017, Stumpy’s San Antonio opened in September 2018, the first of the Stumpy’s Hatchet House franchises.
You must be 21 and wearing closed-toed shoes to throw; walk-ins are accepted, or you can come alone. Once arriving at Stumpy’s you approach the counter and check-in on the iPad. You have the option to reserve a pit for one or two hours. If you bring beverages (beer, wine, or nonalcoholic drinks only), you will check it in at the counter where a staff member will put it on ice and take it to the pit area for you. Don’t worry about not drinking it all because you will be able to take any unopened bottles or cans home with you. If you are hosting a party, you can rent the private room, known as The Woodshed. From the Woodshed you have access to two semi-private pits.
Once you’ve checked in, you enter the training room where you sign a waiver and media release which can also be signed online HERE (you only do this once). Throw Coaches will then review rules and provide instructions. After leaving the training room, you will be guided to the pit area where your beverages (if you brought any) are waiting in buckets of ice. Throw Coaches will demonstrate throwing the hatchets (hatchets weigh around one and a quarter pounds) and scoring before leaving your party to enjoy yourselves. The Throw Coaches will continue to walk around keeping an eye out for anyone who may still need help. Remember, getting a good score is about accuracy, not strength!