The Broken Axle brings food, drinks, and entertainment to Logan.
Tucked into the Appalachian Outpost development south of Logan, The Broken Axle recently celebrated two years in business. But for owners Leah Vance and Fuji Williams, the quest to reach that milestone goes way back.
“When me and my husband first got together, we talked about how we were from here and wanted to stay here, but there weren’t a lot of options for good food and drinks,” Vance says. “We knew we wanted to help our community grow, and not just be the kind of people who always talk about it but never do anything. So we started looking around for a place to open our own, but nothing really panned out.”
That is, until her parents bought the strip mall where the restaurant sits now. “They eventually built a cabin here and more people started coming, so that’s when things began to fall into place. When space became available there, we thought, why not retrofit it to create exactly what we wanted?”
Utilizing as much of the existing interior as possible, they preserved the concrete floor, left the ceilings open, and used a lot of the wood, metal, and industrial elements already on-site. Such unique surroundings make it an inviting space to enjoy a menu of pub-grub favorites ranging from traditional plates to more creative takes.
Shareable apps like pretzels and beer cheese, fried pickles, sauced wings, and pepperoni rolls accompany interesting options like whiskey-battered onion rings, spicy battered cauliflower, fried green tomato stacks, and “tot-chos”—crispy tater tots topped with seasoned ground beef, beer cheese, black beans, diced tomato, and sour cream. Salads range from a wedge, steak, Buffalo chicken, and Greek to a harvest bowl studded with feta, cucumber, bourbon pecans, sliced apples, and tomatoes, all bathed in apple-maple vinaigrette.
Heartier options include a fried bologna sandwich with housemade sauce, Philly cheesesteak, steakburger with parm-garlic mayo, pulled pork mac ’n’ cheese sandwich, and the B.L.A.T. The what? That’s a twist on a classic BLT, but with avocado and garlic aioli layered between grilled bread with “everything” bagel seasoning. You can also try chicken and pineapple kabobs with coconut-rum sauce or a power bowl with mixed greens, sweet potato, feta, vegetables, and lemon-garlic vinaigrette.
And if you’re from the Logan area, you probably already know about The Broken Axle’s “secret menu.”
“Oh yeah,” Vance says, with a laugh, “that’s true.” When the restaurant first opened, some regulars would ask for things they didn’t have on the menu but did have the ingredients to make. “So if someone said, ‘Hey, can you fix me a steak?’ or ‘I’d really like a hot dog,’ we’d just make it for them. That’s how our Axle Dog made it on the regular menu, because it became so popular by word of mouth.”
Whatever you try, you can wash it down with craft and domestic beers or sangria on tap—including flights served on custom-made, West Virginia–shaped boards—along with a host of inventive cocktails.
Vance says the local community has responded in ways she never could’ve imagined. “I think we really hit a spot that no one else has here, offering Appalachian-style food with more modern twists. I mean, our first two months in business, we sold 40,000 wings!”
It’s hard to believe it now, but the restaurant almost never happened. “We literally got started just a few days before COVID,” she recalls. “I signed the loan on a Monday, and everything shut down that Friday.”
There were moments of panic, no doubt, but they were committed to opening and eventually did just that in November 2020. Since then, The Broken Axle has become quite the place to be, hosting regular events like trivia tournaments, karaoke, dance and game-watching parties, taco and wing nights, tap takeovers, and more.
With that success came plans to expand. The restaurant recently rolled out a new menu, outdoor seating, and an indoor stage and plans to build one outside for outdoor events, including weddings.
The couple named their son Axle, by the way, so you can see how closely this family and restaurant are intertwined. “That seemed like a perfect name for the restaurant,” Vance explains, “tying in our family and the ATV culture here.” 135 Appalachian Outpost Trail, Lynburn, 304.688.9820, thebrokenaxle.com