Comings & Goings: Hold that ax, boba’s more of a sure thing

An ax-throwing business is still seeking approval to come to Davis.

Smart Axe wants to open at 720 Olive Drive, Suite U2, near Rocknasium. The premise is a fun outlet and team-building activity where patrons throw an ax at a target.

On Feb. 25, the City Council conducted an initial review of amendments to several city zoning guidelines. The 81-page document includes changes to conditional use rules for commercial recreation businesses. Council members will review the document again on Tuesday. Barbara Archer, communications and customer service manager for the city, said Thursday that if that section of the zoning ordinance is approved, there’s a 30-day waiting period before The Smart Axe can submit an application. Principal Planner Sherri Metzker would review the application to decide if that use is appropriate for its zone.

“After it’s through the resting period, we submit our plans,” said Doug Link, who co-owns the chain with broadcast personality Mark S. Allen, Jim Corbett of Corbett’s House of Horrors365体育投注 in Davis, and Mike Liston, a retired Sacramento sheriff’s deputy. He hopes if all goes well, Smart Axe could open in about four months.

365体育投注Link said he chose Davis because “these ax-throwing venues, from our research, tend to do really well in college towns.” That, and it would pull customers from areas like Vacaville, Fairfield and West Sacramento. “We’re excited. Davis is going to be a great spot.”

The Smart Axe first opened in Rancho Cordova last year, and has another in the works in Roseville. Other locations are planned for Modesto, San Jose, Livermore and Chico. Alcohol is allowed at some, but would not be permitted in Davis. Patrons must be at least 12.


Teaspoon is finally open at 110 F St., Suite D, at the Hilton Garden Inn365体育投注. The little boba tea shop is a grab-and-go style, without indoor seating. It had its soft opening in late February.

Patrons can choose from about 20 specialty drinks or create their own. Customers select their tea flavor, sweetness level, whether to add toppings and/or cream, and if they want it hot or cold. Shaved ice cream is another menu item.

I’ve been writing about Teaspoon since late 2016, when the owner of the nearby ice cream store, CREAM, announced he was taking over the former Café 110 spot at Hallmark Inn. That project stalled when the hotel changed ownership and remodeled into a Hilton Garden Inn. The almost-complete Teaspoon café turned into a hotel café. Teaspoon moved to a smaller space on the property, the former Putah Creek Winery365体育投注 tasting room.

365体育投注Owner Tommy Tu said Teaspoon is different from other tapioca tea places in town. “It’s a new concept for brewed tea,” more like “tea espresso,” he said. Drinks are made to order using an espresso-style machine and loose-leaf tea. Teaspoon specializes in green, black, white and oolong tea. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. daily.

Meanwhile, CREAM may be making some changes. Tu said he plans to step away from the corporate brand to allow more locally sourced ice creams, cookies and ingredients. Stay tuned.


Another boba tea shop, ShareTea, is coming downtown. This time, it will replace the former Starbucks365体育投注 at 208 F St.

365体育投注Davis has another ShareTea at 207 Third St., near UC Davis. The chain offers franchising, so it’s unclear if the two stores are affiliated.


In South Davis, Huku Japanese Bistro recently completed an expansion. It knocked down a wall to add seating where the former Rivers to Reef aquarium store was. (I’m sure there’s a good sushi joke in there somewhere, but I’ll leave it at that). The Japanese restaurant is at 417 Mace Blvd., in the El Macero Shopping Center.


Speaking of franchises, Orangetheory Fitness is looking to open a Davis studio.

“We are coming to Davis!” regional manager Amy Dunahoe said Thursday. “However, … we are still in lease negotiations.”

The fast-growing fitness franchise offers a one-hour, full-body workout, focused on training endurance, strength and power. It uses heart-rate-based interval training. Participants wear heart-rate monitors, and results are displayed on large screens in the studio. The program also asks members to download a mobile app that offers coaching and analysis on workout performance.

During the workouts, certified coaches lead clients through cardio and strength stations, using treadmills, bikes, striders, rowers, floor exercises, TRX systems, benches and free weights. That’s followed by a cool down and stretch.


Phil Horn, owner of The Burger Patch, said, “We’re still working on finalizing an opening date. I should have some additional details in the next few weeks.” He says they’re in the hiring phase.

365体育投注Burger Patch, a plant-based chain, serves Beyond Meat products. The menu focuses on plant-based alternatives, organic and non-GMO ingredients. It uses sustainable packaging, and urges reduction of animal-based food consumption to help the environment.

The restaurant fills the former Solomon’s Deli space at 500 First St. in Davis Commons.


Davis Home Trends has a not-so-new addition to their store: a gift section. The store, which sells pool supplies, window coverings and hot tubs, added a gift and décor section about two years ago. But with recent downsizing of Davis Ace and the closure of The Gifted Penguin in Woodland, the gift section is thriving.

365体育投注“I honestly had no idea we would hit a home run when we started this addition,” co-owner Paula Rich said, “and am very pleased with the success.”

365体育投注She added, “We have greeting cards, lovely soaps and scents by Michel Design Works, the Willow Tree Collection figures, art and décor by Dean Crouser, pebble art by Sharon Nowlan, just to name a few.” At holiday time, there’s a large selection of Christmas décor.

The store is at 2300 Fifth St., and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays.

— Wendy Weitzel is a Davis writer and editor. Her column publishes on alternate Sundays. Check for frequent updates on her Comings & Goings Facebook and Instagram pages. If you know of a business coming or going in the area, contact her at [email protected]


Wendy Weitzel
Wendy Weitzel is a longtime journalist and Davis resident. She is a former managing editor of The Davis Enterprise, working there from 1998-2008. She has written her Comings & Goings business column since 2001. Today, she does freelance writing, editing and public relations.

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