2020 Outstanding Business: Grizzly's Hatchet House

This article originally appeared on the Virginia Main Street Blog on September 11, 2020.  

During the 2020 Downtown Intersections Virtual Conference, Grizzly’s Hatchet House received a Virginia Main Street (VMS) Merit Award, earning the “Outstanding Business” recognition. The business, nominated by the City of Danville’s local Main Street program, River District Association (RDA), operates as a unique hatchet throwing entertainment establishment housed within a 100 year-old tobacco warehouse. Serving as the first entertainment complex in the city’s historic River District, Grizzly’s Hatchet House provides a full and exciting experience, offering a space for the community to gather – put away the distractions and enjoy games, great food, cold beer and some friendly competition!

Opening in 2019, Grizzly’s Hatchet House presents a lodge-like atmosphere where a massive fireplace and beautiful, rustic bar make patrons feel as though they’ve entered a retreat in Aspen, CO. The ambiance has been well-received by local residents, and the business has quickly become a go-to establishment. But, the public’s embrace of Danville’s latest business wasn’t solely due to its impressive charm, but rather the new league sport of hatchet throwing that has sparked heavy, yet friendly, competition among business regulars and visitors from miles away.

Over the past few years, Danville’s downtown has undergone tremendous revitalization, gaining new restaurants and retail establishments. But, the area lacked strong entertainment options until Grizzly’s Hatchet House opened their doors. The business brought new clientele to the downtown district, and other local businesses have seen benefits from Grizzly’s lure. The improved nightlife atmosphere has also created a positive vibe, energizing community spirits and attracting traffic from nearby cities and North Carolina. The business’s popularity remains quite apparent!

The owner of Grizzly’s Hatchet House, Christie Wall (pictured right), was able to successfully open her first business in Danville due to her receiving funding through RDA’s Dream Launch Challenge, a program where entrepreneurs participated in six weeks of entrepreneurial training and pitched their start-up to earn funding to help make it a reality! Christie also received grants from the City of Danville’s Economic Development Team and utilized local and state resources that have been put forward to incentivize positive business growth. Coupled with her own knowledge and experience, Christie employed an incredible staff to run the facility, creating nearly a dozen new jobs in Danville’s River District. The quality of staff remains Grizzly’s greatest asset, and Christie has trained her employees to exude the highest efficiency and customer service.

“While there were several great businesses worth nominating, Christie Wall opened a business that serves as an example of ingenuity, creativity, solid planning and excellence.” – Diana Schwartz, Executive Director, RDA

Want to go deeper? Check out our conversation with business owner Christie Wall and the River District’s Diana Schwartz on the Partners for Better Communities podcast. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts or simply play it here.