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Shane and Shad Kearns spent more than a year working on opening Tomahawks Axe Throwing.

They originally encountered the concept in the Kansas City area and after talking it over, "thought this would be a great idea for the Haymarket," Shane Kearns said Friday during a grand opening celebration.

Despite the lack of a liquor license, business has been good at Tomahawks in the two months it's been open at 815 O St., Shad Kearns said.

He said the inability to serve alcohol hasn't really been an issue.

"A lot of people are having so much fun they kind of forget about it," he said.

The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission in February denied the business a license to sell beer, largely based on the fact that the Lincoln City Council had opposed the license because both brothers failed to disclose past criminal convictions.

They chalked those convictions up to youthful mistakes, but it didn't sway the commission.

Another thing that hurt their cause was that they hadn't opened yet and did not appear prepared to run the business successfully.

Shad Kearns said they plan to reapply for a liquor license sometime in the future and hope that demonstrating they can operate successfully without problems will bolster their case.

One of the Liquor Commission members pointed out that another Lincoln axe-throwing business that was granted a liquor license, Craft Axe Throwing, opened and operated for a few weeks without a license before it was approved.

Being forced to do that may wind up being a blessing in disguise for Tomahawks, Shad Kearns said.

"When we look back on it, it was good advice," he said.

Kearns said they are trying to operate the business as if they already have a liquor license, keeping an eye out for people who come in already intoxicated.

While they work toward eventually being able to sell beer, he said they are looking to bolster what they already offer by bringing in a vendor to sell food.

Next month, Tomahawks plans to start offering leagues, which Kearns said should bring in even more business.

He said they are very happy with the location and have seen a lot of support from other Haymarket businesses.

Tomahawks brings a different entertainment option to the area, but it's one that Kearns feels fits in well.

"The Haymarket is kind of historic, and ax throwing is a historic thing."

The business opens at 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday. Kearns said it usually closes about 10:30 p.m. or 11 p.m.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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