Photos courtesy of Laressa Gjonaj
The Dutchess County venue joins forces with Industrial Arts Brewing Company for live music, craft beer, and Southeast Asian cuisine.
Beacon is thriving with unique experiences, and few are more unique and exciting than axe throwing.
“District Social is a place where the whole family can come together for a great evening of fun and entertainment….There is something for everyone,” says owner Bill Diamond. Diamond also serves as the CEO of Diamond Hospitality Group. All of Diamond’s experiences are built around out-of-home entertainment.
District Social blends classic fun with ultra-modern flourishes. Neon lights from arcade machines dazzle the senses, while old-school billiards and darts introduce new players to timeless games. Locals can race against friends in Moto GP, escape ferocious dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park Arcade, and more. Ten bucks scores 20 credits to use in the arcade. District Social’s redemptive system keeps guests vying for prizes — unleashing everyone’s inner child. Like Happy Valley Arcade nearby, the Hudson Valley hotspot is a go-to for great drinks alongside engaging entertainment.
“Beacon is such a compelling community with a great Main Street populated by authentic venues. We hope to just be another great venue for the area,” Diamond says. “And honestly, pound for pound, axe throwing’s the most fun thing we offer.”
Groups can book lanes online, reserving space for six players. Time can be reserved in half-hour or full-hour blocks. One of District Social’s experienced “axe masters” trains novice hatchet slingers and keeps things safe. The massive space boasts four long axe throwing lanes that provide a great challenge. It’s the perfect spot for guests to channel their inner Paul Bunyan and launch their worries away. A crude ranking system on each target keeps track of who the real sharpshooters are.
As friends, family, or coworkers compete to score the first bullseye, District Social keeps the craft beer flowing. Diamond gained an iconic neighbor at this venue: Industrial Arts Brewing Company. He targeted this location knowing Industrial Arts would be the “anchor tenant,” and could fulfill his ultimate vision: great beer, live music, and the largest arcade in the county. Industrial Arts recently moved production of its flagship Wrench NEIPA to Beacon, making the building it shares with District Social its main brewing site.
One of the greatest elements of the building is its expansive deck. District Social takes full advantage, serving fresh Industrial Arts drafts and delicious small plates outside. The 100 ft-long deck adds an incredible lounge to the already massive space. Diamond and his team chose food truck menus that would compliment the bright, citrusy notes of hazy Industrial Arts beers. Most of the offerings draw inspiration from Southeast Asia. When relaxing on the deck, visitors can sample Vietnamese salad rolls, bahn mi sandwiches, and imperial cha goi rolls. Korean specialties make a few appearances as well, and Gochujang fried chicken and sweet potato noodles make for the perfect axe throwing fuel and serve as worthy additions to Beacon’s Korean fusion scene.
After a few Wrenches or craft cocktails, Hudson Valleyites can head back inside for live music. District Social’s stage hosts all sorts of Hudson Valley acts, ranging from full bands to singer-songwriters.
“We are being swamped with requests from great bands. We want to showcase a wide assortment of popular local bands,” Diamond says. Above all, elevating live music from up-and-coming artists is Diamond’s focus. A spacious dance floor allows guests to really cut loose and showcase their moves. Even in a bustling city like Beacon, it can be difficult to find places to dance. Fortunately, locals can enjoy these mini-concerts every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Though the 14,000 sq ft axe throwing bar looks vibrant and polished now, it was a long road to get here. District Social was set to open its Beacon location last year, when COVID-19 halted plans (the Newburgh location at Orange County Choppers remains closed). In the fall of 2020, development resumed, and Diamond hit the ground running. It took about eight months to complete work on the interior. Its doors opened up to welcome in the summer season, and its deck will host many warm evenings under the stars. District Social’s prime location on top of Fishkill Ave offers scenic views of lush treetops. As far as décor goes, Diamond thinks visitors can expect some familiarity across their other brands.
“I’d say it will be closer to what we do at Spins Hudson in Peekskill. That has been a terrific success for us, so when the opportunity came our way to partner with Industrial Arts at this location, we were confident we could make it a success,” Diamond says.
Hungry for more axe-throwing action? District Social gets a second home in Carmel. Doors open Saturday of Labor Day weekend for cornhole, giant Jenga, and tons of fresh Hudson Valley beer. The Putnam County hotspot adds a massive outdoor beer garden for the occasion, along with a scenic dog park.
511 Fishkill Ave, Beacon