MANCHESTER, NH – Melinda Asprey was busy fielding calls Thursday night, including one from a woman interested in smashing up her new place.
“Give me a call back when you’re ready,” Asprey sais to the woman, looking for a place to blow off steam with her gal pals.
Asprey is owner and “Chief Break Operator” of The Break Room, tucked in the corner of the East Side Plaza right next to Pizza Market.
She’s hoping it will be all the rage – once customers get the hang of channeling their rage.
According to Asprey having a place to break and smash things is therapeutic – and more.
“You can get some energy out. It’s a good little workout. It’s quick, it’s inexpensive. It’s a nice, fun, different thing to do besides going to the bar and drinking, and it’s an activity,” says Asprey.
The Break Room has been under construction for several months, a labor of love by Asprey’s husband, Charles Keith, who owns and operates The Rugged Axe on South Willow. He did all the interior work to construct the office-themed playground for those who enjoy expressing their feelings in a tangible way.
Asprey is a Manchester native who lives in Goffstown. After she and Keith got the Rugged Axe up and running, she said she knew pretty much right away that she wanted to open her own fun spot in the city. After trying other “activity rooms” in Nashua and Portsmouth, her heart was set on launching Manchester’s first break room.
It took them eight months to find the right home for The Break Room, and several more weeks of hard labor for her husband to transform it into the perfect place to take a sledgehammer to things that are fun to destroy – from dishes, knick-knacks and pottery to television sets, computers and washing machines.
Asprey said rates depend on how much time you need to break things, and which room you want to break them in. Online scheduling is available. You can see room descriptions and photos here. Rooms are monitored and safety gear, which is provided, is required. Smash rooms are appropriate for ages 16+ and there’s a children’s room available as well.
The grand opening of The Break Room, 843 Hanover St., Manchester, is March 25 at 11 a.m. and will include tours, refreshments and raffles. Organized chaos begins at noon.