Ax-throwing entrepreneur brings the Blind Ninja Dinner Challenge to Columbus

Ax-throwing entrepreneur brings the Blind Ninja Dinner Challenge to Columbus

Originally from  Dan Eaton  – Staff reporter, Columbus Business First

Marty Parker is getting into the food business in the only way he knows how – by making it a game.

The entrepreneur behind assorted escape rooms, ax-throwing venues and the wide-ranging “throw bar” that is Throw Nation in Dublin has opened the Blind Ninja Dinner Challenge at 560 S. High St. in the Brewery District.

That old bar and restaurant space is one of his ax-throwing concepts during the week, but at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays he’s now testing something new.

For a $59.95 ticket guests get a five-course meal. But it isn’t that easy. Everyone is blindfolded and put on teams and then given clues as to how to find the food and eat it. Teamwork is key.

“You will not eat if you don’t communicate,” Parker said. “If you’re quiet, you will die.”

Parker admits that’s not totally true, of course. Guests won’t leave without any food, but he hopes visitors take to the spirit of the game, if for no other reason than their appetites.

There also are prizes beyond actually getting to find and eat the meal. Also, though the menus are secret, there isn’t anything exotic. No gross eating challenges. There are meat and vegetarian options. No nuts or seafood are served.

Parker said he had several inspirations. The first is dinner-in-the-dark events. The second is dinner detective events. The third was the Mud Ninja run he ran. Running those through his mental processor, he came up with Blind Ninja. The host is an actor working from a script, similar to the detective performances. The event lasts up to two hours and accommodates up to 12 people.

Parker said the ticket price is comparable to going to one of his other venues plus having a dinner.

Columbus is Parker’s test run for the idea. He also operates a multi-activity space in Chicago that has a dining area that otherwise isn’t being used. Blind Ninja is an idea he might launch in that space. He’s also talking to hotels about it being a potential entertainment offering.

“Competitive socializing” is the term Parker uses for his various creations. And though this one might sound odd to the individual, he said the target is corporate outings and other group gatherings, like team-building events or birthday parties, though individuals and smaller groups are welcome.

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