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

Mobile Service To Connect Hungry Pitt Students to Free Food

PittGrub app will send folks in need to events with leftovers.

What's It Like When You Go from Laborer to Being The Boss?

Pitt's Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence has been teaching business strategies to startups and century-old companies for 25 years.

The 400-Word Review: The Equalizer 2

An unnecessary sequel to the Denzel Washington action flick arrives for a quick beat-em-up fix.

The 400-Word Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

The sequel to the 2008 ABBA musical is far from perfect, but might have enough charm to keep you on board.

You're Going to Be Upside Down a Lot on New Kennywood Coaster

Kennywood has revealed its replacement ride for “The Log Jammer” which will be located in a new portion of the park entitled “Steelers Country.”

Restaurant Review: Poulet Bleu

Richard DeShantz steps it up with a move from Downtown to Lawrenceville and shows Pittsburgh how to make French dining fun.

Pittsburgh to Host Nation’s First Black Beer Festival

Day Bracey and Ed Bailey of Drinking Partners Podcast and Mike Potter of Black Brew Culture online magazine will bring 12 black-owned breweries to Pittsburgh in August for Fresh Fest.

Coming Clean: Why We Aren't a Green City ... Yet

Pittsburgh is no longer a smoky city, but that doesn’t mean it has cleaned up its act. Pittsburgh's air quality still ranks among the worst in the nation. What steps are being taken to reduce Pittsburgh's ongoing dependence on fossil fuels?

Ultimate Comfort Food: The Joy of Dumplings

Why our dining critic thinks dumplings might be his ultimate comfort food.

Our Seven Favorite Dumplings in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, of course, is best known for the pierogi. Our love of dumplings extends beyond that, however. These seven dumplings are our favorite restaurant versions of their various styles.

The Tailor's Dumpling: Kreplach

A Pittsburgh chef and his family continue to craft a family recipe with roots in Poland.

The Pittsburgh Region's Top Dentists 2018

Our annual list, which contains 376 dentists across 11 specialties, as determined by topDENTISTS.

A Weekend Mission of Mercy in Pittsburgh

More than a thousand people come to PPG Paints Arena once a year for free dental care, thanks to an ambitious, all-volunteer effort.

Jump Into the River: Open Waters Beckons Strong Swimmers

It takes a strong swimmer and the right timing to dive into the three rivers. for those up to it, the difference between the pool and open water is profound.

Pirates Are Still a Long Way From a Hollywood Ending

Despite an 8-1 winning streak going into the All-Star break, the Bucs are in desperate need of a sequel, not only to win back some credibility with fans, but also to convince their owner not to sell off more pieces of the team.