Two new businesses in the former Western Extralite building at 1302 Frederick Ave. are officially open.

The restaurant Huckleberry opened on Monday in the building’s front, while the axe-throwing range The Axe Factor opened on Aug. 24 in the basement. The building also is home of the Crossfit gym Midwest Method Strength & Performance.

Huckleberry offers American food including hamburgers and Philly cheesesteaks. Seating is limited and co-owner D.J. Kauley hopes to attract a lunch and dinner crowd looking for a quick meal.

“We hope for them to come in, grab delicious food and you can hang out if you want to,” Kauley said.

Huckleberry will offer healthier pre-made meals for Midwest Method members to grab after a workout. A partnership with River Bluff Brewing across the street allows brewery customers to order from the tap room and get food delivered. Kauley, who used to work at River Bluff, approached chef Jaylon Sybert when customer feedback sparked an idea.

“The big thing was, ‘You guys need to get food,’” Kauley said of his time at River Bluff. “I got together with Jaylon, we came up with an idea and then this place became available.”

Huckleberry is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The eatery is open an extra hour to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Location was also on the minds of Matt Wieners and Bruce Baker when the two looked for a good spot for their axe-throwing range The Axe Factor.

“I really wanted to be in this area with the brewery and everything that was going on,” Wieners said. “We found out there was a basement and we took advantage of that. It’s really good to see this area come to life again.”

The entertainment venue, the first indoor axe range in St. Joseph, opened on Aug 24. Wieners enjoys watching first-time axe throwers get the hang of the activity.

“They’re so timid, it’s something they’ve never really done before,” he said. “After about 20 minutes they really get into it, they’re going gung-ho and they’re excited.”

The Axe Factor offers one- and two-hour reservations. Reservations are optional and The Axe Factor offers free corn hole and dart games during wait times.

The Axe Factor is open from 5 to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 4 to 10 p.m. on Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and from 2 to 8 p.m. on Sunday. To make a reservation, visit

Jessica Kopp can be reached


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