Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Enjoy a Relaxing Evening of Wanton Destruction at Break Room

The Irwin business offers the chance to smash inanimate objects for a little "therapeutic demolition."




Photo by Ariella Furman. Thumbnail photo by Sean Collier.
 

As you approach Break Room on Route 30, a sign will catch your eye: “Break Room. Therapeutic Demolition.”

That subtitle is very accurate. Break Room sounds like a ridiculous diversion, but the actual experience is oddly soothing.

The concept behind the unconventional business, which opened in October, is simple: Pay to smash some stuff. You go in, you select a package (covering the room rental and a number of things to break) and are shown into a confined space where you are encouraged to shatter, beat and obliterate your chosen items to your heart’s content.

You’ll get a certain number of items — provided on-site — depending on the package you select. For the one-person “Basic Busting” menu item, for example, you select six small items (think mugs, bottles and figurines), four medium items (such as ceramic tchotchkes and larger dishes) and two large items (electronics and wall art). There are premium items as well, available in some of the larger packages or as a $15 add-on — televisions and computer monitors, mostly.

When the process began, it still felt more like an exercise in sanctioned transgression; I chucked an empty bottle at the ground and swung through a coffee mug with an aluminum baseball bat. But after a few minutes, I saw one of my companions start to wail repetitively on an ancient computer monitor.

She wasn’t actually making much progress with this volley of blows; her crowbar was bouncing off the hard plastic shell of the former Mac. Why pound with such vigor without result, I wondered?

Then I tried the same approach and understood.

It feels really, really good to just unload on an inanimate object.

Your best bet is to gather a posse and opt for the deluxe version. It’s a bit steep at $120 (bring a quartet and split it to $30 apiece, I’d say), but you’ll receive enough ammunition to keep swinging for quite a while. With a group outing, you can also pitch smaller items to one another for midair annihilation — perhaps the highlight of the experience.

While Break Room does supply safety gear — thin, protective jumpsuits along with heavy gloves and masks — it should be stipulated that this is not an activity without risk. No customers have been hurt to date, but you are asked to sign a waiver before you participate. It’s a room full of shattering glass and flying shards of ceramic; while I and the three companions I brought to Break Room emerged unscathed, it’s not hard to imagine a scrape or cut befalling a participant. (I’d point out that you’re probably in more danger ice skating — but still, there’s something about all that shattered glass that feels intimidating.)

Some hesitation about the risk aside, though, this is a remarkably enjoyable experience, both as an unconventional night-out and, yes, as a form of therapy. Perhaps my favorite of Break Room’s offerings is its cheapest: A sort of happy-hour offering, where patrons are invited to stop in on the way home from work and quickly smash a stack of plates for $10.

Ten bucks to unleash some of the day’s anxiety on unsuspecting dishware? If Break Room were on my route home, I’d stop in twice a week.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Hungry for Something Good, Pittsburgh? Where We're Eating in July

Lidia Bastianich Shares Her American Dream in a New Memoir

PM Dining Critic Hal B. Klein talks to the celebrated chef, restauranteur, television host and author about grandparents, foraging and the plight of refugees seeking a better life in the United States.

They Prayed to Our Lady of the Roller Coaster

Two local priests –– riding the Phantom's Revenge to promote Catholic Day at Kennywood –– create a viral video. Along the way they deliver a most unusual sermon.

The Homestead Artist with a Worldwide Reputation

Jesse Best maintains a presence in New York and Tokyo. But, he says, Pittsburgh has been 10 times better to him than any other place.

The 400-Word Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The fifth "Jurassic Park" film is fun. Empty, somewhat disappointing fun.

Local Brewery Resolves Trademark Dispute With Sass

After Pitt ordered Voodoo Brewery to stop production of its "H2P American IPA," the company relaunched the beer under a new name.

Sprout Fund Passes the Torch

50 Pittsburghers to receive $1,000 Legacy Award to carry on the nonprofit’s vision.

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

A Broadway musical about the life and times of the Pittsburgh Pirates? The idea might not be as farfetched as you think.

Pirates Pitcher Steven Brault has Pretty Good Pipes Too

The Pirates reliever sang the national anthem Tuesday night before the Bucs hosted the Brewers at PNC Park. It's worth watching, especially for his teammates' reaction at the end.

Crime in the South Side Has Fallen Dramatically

Illegal activity plunged along East Carson Street following several new security measures.

Fired by City Paper — Charlie Deitch Won’t Be Silenced

The former editor of the Pittsburgh alt-weekly is creating his own "more inclusive" publication.

Czechoslovakia was Forged in Pittsburgh

Rick Sebak details how the establishment of the European nation began with a meeting Downtown.

Brick by Brick: Legos Go High Art

Made entirely out of Legos, the sculptures on the display at the Carnegie Science Center’s new Scaife Exhibit Gallery range from the whimsical to the otherworldly.

Mike Chen, Dean of the Chinese Kitchen

The owner of Everyday Noodles looks to encourage more regionally specific Chinese food in Pittsburgh restaurants.

MultiStories: Real Estate – The Machesney Building

Visitors can still ogle the lavish marble and bronze interior crafted to appeal to the original owner's banker and stockbroker tenants.