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

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.

The Other Moving Documentary About a Curious Pittsburgher

In "Will Work For Views," the video artist and musician Weird Paul is a little bit Dr. Demento and a little bit Mister Rogers.

Pittsburgh Might Mow Your Lawn for Free

The city is launching a free grass cutting service for the elderly, disabled and veterans.

PPG Paints Unveils 2019 Color of the Year: Night Watch

Paying homage to the restorative power of nature, this deep green shade is one to watch in the coming year. Here’s how to use it on your walls.

Influx of Red, White and Blue Coming to City of Black and Gold

The National Flag Foundation is bringing the Star Spangled Banner’s history and colors to the Koppers Building –– and on some nights, it will be visible for miles.

Toppers That Take the Cake

Over the traditional bride and groom standing on top of your cake? Try some of these different ideas for cake toppers.

Renting in Pittsburgh? You're Getting a Great Deal

The Steel City ranks first in Zillow’s 10 Most Affordable Markets for Renters list.

Iconic Pittsburgh Meteorologist Joe DeNardo Dies at 87

DeNardo was well known in Pittsburgh long before a series of promotional TV spots cemented his place among the city's broadcasting icons.

Olczyk Embraces Awareness, Understanding to Fight Cancer

Olczyk found out last August, in the wake of a six-hour surgery that removed 14 inches of his colon and “a tumor the size of my fist,” the severity of what he was suddenly confronting.

Best of the 'Burgh 2018: Readers' Choice Poll Results

Diners, food trucks, dive bars and more. Here's the most popular stuff in town.

Conor Lamb Doesn't Want to Know How You Voted for President

The new congressman discusses his upset victory –– and his thoughts on the state of the Democratic Party in 2018.

Restaurant Review: The Twisted Frenchman is an Ambitious Endeavor

Andrew Garbarino moved his fine-dining restaurant into a multimillion-dollar new home. Does it live up to its new digs?