Happening this week around the county …

Angry Jack’s Axe Throwing Club has moved in where You Bet Your Axe used to be in the Elkton Crossing Shopping Center. Owners Nikki and AJ Mitchell opened under the new name several weeks ago.

With a location in Exton, Pa., another soon to open in Phoenixville, Pa. and a mobile unit AJ Mitchell said Angry Jack’s ups the game in the axe-throwing realm.

“We have better ambience, better target boards and our axes are 100% nicer,” Mitchell said. “We pride ourselves in teaching people how to throw.”

In the process of getting a restaurant license, Angry Jack’s is open to all ages and axe-throwing begins at age 9.

“Kids have no fear,” he said. At that age they are taught using a tomahawk. Adults learn with a competition sanctioned axe. “Kids love it because they can beat their parents.”

Saying it’s easier than bowling, Mitchell said the thing most people have to learn is that you don’t have to throw hard.

“The harder you throw the worse you do,” he said. “Within 20 minutes of throwing you just fall in love.”

Like bowling there are leagues for kids to adults.

Axe throwing is also the perfect social distancing activity, he added.

“You have your own lane,” he explained. Masks are only required in community areas such as check in, the lobby and restrooms.

Angry Jack’s Throwing Club is open Wednesday through Saturday noon until 10 p.m. and noon until 9 on Sundays. You can find them on Facebook or at angryjacksaxes.com.


North Street Hotel in Elkton has added Demetri’s Outdoor Cafe, a little slice of Greece downtown created with the help of the Cecil County Arts Council.

Demetri’s Outdoor Cafe was officially launched Friday afternoon, adding bistro seating and tables, comfortable bench seating and eventually, local art to the alley off the bar.

Jimmy Nicholson, owner of the iconic business at 103 North St., said he likes the work of the arts council and asked them to apply their creative touch.

“This will complement the rest of the town,” Nicholson said. With the focus on Main Street he felt he needed to incite the beautification of North Street. Since the building has been in his family for decades, Nicholson felt he needed to do this. “I want to enhance the town, bring more people to town.”

Annemarie Hamilton, CCAC executive director, said she and Gaby Coutz, vice president of CCAS, went to work to find the best use of the breezeway.

“We met with Jimmy multiple times,” she said of the planning stage that began over the summer. Then the shopping began to find the right pieces to withstand the outdoors but also be beautiful.

“The hardest thing was finding the furniture,” Hamilton said. With restaurants around the county reinventing themselves in the midst of the pandemic, Demetri’s Outdoor Cafe was also looking for outdoor furniture to allow for customers to return. ‘We did some up-cycling and repurposing.”

Trips to bargain stores filled out the look adding pops of color and accent pieces. The ladies also erected a raised garden that serves two purposes, according to Nicholson. It adds a pop of color and keeps drivers from coming across the sidewalk, thinking that area is an egress from the parking lot. It isn’t, and the traffic was presenting a safety hazard for pedestrians, he said.

Nicholson has been a longtime supporter of the arts, Hamilton said. She appreciated this opportunity to return the favor.

When the weather is right feel free to stop by North Street Hotel and have a beer al fresco at Demetri’s Outdoor Cafe.

For more information call 410-398-0745.


Tactical Shepherd and J Lowe’s Guns officially open for business at 11 a.m. Saturday to introduce the public to their one-stop shop for everything from firearms training to ammunition and the weapons themselves.

Located at 1573 Theodore Road in Rising Sun, Mel Adam, John Lowe, Duane Janney and Kenny Porter bring years of experience with backgrounds in military service and law enforcement. Adam said at Tactical Shepherd they offer supplies for self protection as well as hunting plus the training and certifications needed.

“People are not here to put holes in a piece of paper. They are here to learn how to protect themselves and their family,” Adam said. Training for the Handgun Qualification License, Maryland Wear and Carry and Utah Wear and Carry laws is available and Adam said more will be added as needed.

“If it’s a firearm it’s my intention to have a person here to teach it,” he said. Look for fingerprinting services from IA Fingerprinting Services and gun cleaning to be added soon.

Keeping the social distancing and mask rules in mind, the grand opening will keep visitors moving through the building to see all they have to offer, sign up for door prizes and meet with local blade smiths whose knives are being sold there. Also available is wooden flags made by Colby’s Creations. The grand prize is a Remington 870 Express shotgun. There are several things that increase your chances of winning, Adam said.

“Show up, invite friends to like our Facebook page, and buy lunch,” he said, adding there will be smoked pork barbecue sandwiches for sale. “It’s a sweetheart deal.”


Robert Gore, the man credited with inventing Gore-Tex, died last week at his Maryland home. He was 83.

Gore became chairman emeritus of the WL Gore Board of Directors in 2018 after nearly 60 years as a board member. For 30 of those years he was chairman, and was president of the company from 1976 to 2000.

Gore-Tex is the global company’s proprietary material well known for its endurance against extreme temperatures. His research and development led to that discovery in 1969 of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), which now has applications under water, in the air, in space and even in the human body.


The Cecil County Christmas Parade has already been canceled and now Rising Sun officials are leaning in the same direction for its Halloween Spooktacular.

Last week word came down that the gigantic parade through downtown North East would not happen this year thanks to the global pandemic. Rising Sun Mayor Travis Marion said a decision will likely be made by Friday on this year’s street party, which brought hundreds to the center square for music, candy, crafts, inflatables and activities.

“We’re leaning on the state to tell us what we can and cannot do,” Marion said Monday. He said there are too many touchable surfaces involved with the popular event that making it safe cannot be guaranteed.

That does not mean that Trick or Treating will be banned, the mayor said. That decision will be left to parents and those who would hand out treats Halloween night. He said the town police would still be out to assure the costumed kids are safe as they travel across streets and door to door Oct. 31 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.


Brookbend Interiors in Elkton and Lil’ Brookbend in North East are now known simply as Brookbend. Owners John Palmer and Steven Jennings are also expanding the footprint of the North East store and are adding a third location in Havre de Grace.

In North East the partners have acquired the space next door at 28 South Main St. and will grow by 1,000 square feet. Look for that work to begin in October.

Meanwhile, over the Susquehanna River Brookbend expects to open at 204 North Washington St. in Havre de Grace in November. That’s the former Walton’s Hardware Store.


Inc.com recently came out with its list of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in America in 2020. Included on the list were Ad Hoc Research in Havre de Grace, which was ranked 128th with a 2,885% growth rate and Infinia Search in Kennett Square, Pa., which came in at 209th with a growth rate of 2,065%. Ecotone in Forest Hill, Md. also appeared on the list at 3,841 and in Newark, Placers ranked 2,054.

Listed at #1 was OneTrust, a software company based in Atlanta Ga. Inc.com reported the company had a growth rate of 48,337%.


Citing the cost of rental housing in Chester County, the county commissioners recently approved $1.8 million in CARES funding to cover those county residents suffering COVID related loss of a job or income. Funding will be made available to cover a period up to six months, beginning March 1, 2020.

“Previous programs have provided up to $750 in rental assistance, but that’s simply not enough,” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz. “This additional funding is intended to provide a more practical option for families who have lost income due to COVID-19.”

The program is designed to act quickly, with money coming as soon as 48 hours once all the paperwork and documentation is submitted. To be eligible there needs to be proof of loss of income or employment due to the pandemic and that applicants cannot pay their rent or are at risk of becoming homeless.

More information is available by calling 211 and asking for assistance with rent.


Credited with generating $190 million in sales in Cecil County in 2019, contributing $28 million in state and local taxes and employing more than 2,400 people, tourism is vital to the economy of Cecil County.

September 20-26 is Small Business Week and Sandy Turner, Cecil County Tourism Manager, said tourism was also affected by the pandemic but these local businesses found creative ways to survive.

“Kudos to the tourism industry for re-inventing themselves in this unprecedented year,” Turner said. “We hope locals will support local tourism businesses and discover or re-discover all the wonderful things to see, taste, and experience right in our own back yard.”


And for those who may be interested, these are the last days for Peebles in the Big Elk Mall in Elkton. No word yet on what is going to take over the anchor spot. For those who are fans of Halloween, Spirit Halloween is back in the shopping center, next door to the new Ollie’s.

Stage, parent company of Peebles, had planned to bring its Gordmans store to the location but COVID-19 derailed those plans.

Business Beat is a weekly column on business happenings in and around Cecil County. If interested in having your business featured in this column, contact Jane Bellmyer at jbellmyer@cecilwhig.com or 443-245-5007.

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