North Texas Daily

The Breakroom gives visitors a smashing experience

The Breakroom gives visitors a smashing experience

The Breakroom gives visitors a smashing experience
August 30
13:00 2018

After a long day at work or school, it is nice to take a few moments to relax and destress. However, people can get busy and let their stress build up.

The Breakroom is a way to shatter that wall of stress, one smash at a time.

Tucked away on Wainwright Street is a small garage-like building. What was once a print shop is now replaced by The Breakroom, a recreational building where consumers can pay to destroy old TVs, computers and other pieces of furniture with an instrument of their choice.

“We’re told from birth, ‘Don’t break that, don’t play ball in the house, don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t get angry,’ and you know, there’s not a lot of outlets to get rid of that rage,” co-owner and UNT alumnus West White said. “This is kind of one of those things [you can do] if you’re stressed out [or] if you just want to have fun.”

Upon walking into the building, customers immediately see a wall lined with instruments of destruction, including wooden and aluminum baseball bats, crowbars, hockey sticks, golf clubs, sledgehammers and more.

Bats, clubs, shovels, hammers and crowbars are displayed on The Breakroom wall. Most of the bats and clubs were scavenged, while the hammers were bought. Omar Gonzalez 

When West first brought up the idea to his friend Trey Bond, Bond was hesitant.

“I was like, ‘This is the dumbest thing I’ve heard in my entire life,’” Bond said. “Then I started looking at it and talking to people about it and they were like, ‘That sounds like so much fun.’ So I was like, ‘Maybe I’m wrong.’ People want this, so here we [are].”

Within a few months, West, Bond and their friend Kevin Dobson teamed up and eventually opened the facility.

“We went on a date night to something similar [to The Breakroom], and I’m a really calm person, so I thought I didn’t really need to relieve any stress,” West’s wife Ashton White said. “But I had so much fun breaking stuff that I was like, ‘I would totally do that again in a heartbeat.’”

About two years ago, the couple moved away from Austin and were dealing with the stress of their house getting flooded right before going under contract. Ashton found a Groupon to a Breakroom-like experience and thought it would be the perfect way to help her husband let go off some stress.

“Everybody’s stressed out,” West said. “It’s just a fact of life. There’s different ways — exercise, yoga or whatever — to relieve stress, and none of those have ever really worked out for me. There’s always that [feeling where] you wake up one day and just feel like smashing something, and this is kind of what it turned into: beat stuff to hell and make [yourself] feel better.”

The center offers two different smashing experiences: one in a throwing room and the other in the main room.

The throwing room is 260 square feet and can host up to two people at a time. For $15, customers are given a crate of 15 objects to throw and break on the walls.

Containers with wine bottles, CDs, and plates lay on two tables in the throwing room in The Breakroom. Omar Gonzalez

The main room is 1,260 square feet and customers can participate in a five-, 10- or 20-minute session in groups of up to six people.

“You [could] go the gym and work out for an hour [or] come here and in 10 minutes you’re exhausted,” Bond said. “I didn’t think I would be and I did seven minutes and was like, ‘I need to lay down — heart attack!’”

Before participating, customers must sign a waiver and are required to wear closed-toed shoes. Hard hats, safety glasses, disposable masks, gloves and a heavy-duty apron are supplied. During their experience, customers are able to smash to their own playlist and can hook up their phones to the speakers in either room.

Almost all items available for destruction are from donations.

“There aren’t many households that don’t have random junk sitting in their garage or backyard that [people] want to get rid of but don’t really want to spend the money to get rid of it,” West said.

The Breakroom offers free pick-up within about a 20-mile radius of Denton. If people have items laying around the house they would like to donate, the center will accept it.

The rec center opened Aug. 28, but a grand opening party will be held Saturday, Sept. 8 and a car will be available for customers to destroy.

Meredith Rosson, one of the first participants in The Breakroom, recommends that locals give it a try.

“It’s good therapy,” Rosson said. “Especially after a hard day. I wish I had a harder day.”

While The Breakroom does accept walk-ins to minimize wait times, it recommends that people make reservations online. The center operates six days a week, excluding Mondays.

Featured Image: An old tube television is demolished by West White with a crowbar. The Breakroom opened at the end of August for a way for people to relieve stress. Omar Gonzalez 

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Rebecca Najera

Rebecca Najera

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