Smash Rooms opening in Lakeland and Tampa, for when you feel like breaking something

Published August 3 2018
Updated August 3 2018

Ever feel like breaking something? Now there’s a place to do it without the mess, regret or possibility of scaring your pets.

Smash Room Lakeland celebrates its grand opening Saturday, and according to its Tampa-based owners, will be followed this fall by the opening of Smash Room Tampa near the University of South Florida.

Smash Room, not to be confused with Jersey Shore’s infamous "smush room," is part of a trend in "rage rooms" or "anger rooms" where people show up to smash computers, wreck furniture or take the head off a mannequin with a sledgehammer.

Marketed as a way to "constructively channel aggression," Smash Room says they’ll provide a crowbars, bats and other tools to demolish glass, TVs, tables and "many, many, more breakable items."

They’ll even simulate an office, living area or kitchen, and let you bring in your own items to smash if you’re feeling like its time for that porcelain figurine your aunt gave you to meet its demise, or have some old dinnerware to dispose of.

"I have three kids and I have a husband, that’s what got me into this," Tisha Strohmier, a residential real estate investor in Tampa, and owner of Smash Room said. "One day I got so mad, I said I’d like to throw something. I thought, if I feel this way, maybe there are a lot of other women, and men too, who feel this way."

Poking around on the internet, she says she discovered the rage room concept was mostly missing from Florida, and "I said, what an opportunity."

With what we can only assume will be the 1999 rap-rock hit Break Stuff stuck in your head as the soundtrack (and what better band to send a human into a rage spiral than Limp Bizkit, think about it, Smash Room), they’ll suit you up with coveralls, a protective vest and a face shield to protect you from flying shards.

It’s still an at-your-own risk activity, though, so remember to stretch.

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As many of these alternative date night activities seem to do lately (see escape rooms and ax-throwing ranges), rage rooms have started to crop up across Florida, after debuting in larger cities.

A Rage Room opened in Toronto in 2015. The Wrecking Club arrived in New York in 2017. Dallas, an early adopter, has had the Anger Room since 2008, and reported a big spike in business around the 2016 election, when it offered smashable mannequins dressed as candidates.

A popular Rudolph’s Rage Room popup event in London let people destroy Christmas decorations.

In Florida we now have Melbourne’s Insanity Rooms, where guests can not only break stuff, but also fling paint on the walls and at each other. Smash the Rage, billed as Miami’s first rage room, and featuring a photo of a woman wailing on a refrigerator with a wooden club on its website, is set to open Sept. 1.

Strohmier’s supply of breakable items comes from donations from people who want to get rid of stuff, thrift stores with too much stock, and occasionally through purchasing it herself, though she wouldn’t reveal who her junk supplier is due to proprietary reasons.

She’ll even do her best to accommodate special requests, and says she has had a few since the soft opening in Lakeland a few weeks ago.

"I’ve had people call and say, I want to smash a dishwasher or a stove," she said. "I’ll get it for them if I can, but for a little extra charge, because it costs money to dispose of this stuff."

A single-person, 20-minute session at the Smash Room costs $30. For $60 total, two people can get 30 minutes, plus one box of miscellaneous things to smash each, and four pieces of electronics. Printers are a common option, for those looking to live out their Office Space fantasies.

The Lakeland location is at 2120 E Edgewood Drive, Lakeland, conveniently close to rage-inducing Interstate 4, and is appointment only. Make reservations at Radio host Miguel from Hot 101.5 is set to make an appearance Saturday at 4 p.m. as part of the grand opening.

The Tampa location will be at 14311 N Nebraska Ave., across the street from the Grand Prix Tampa go-kart track in a former industrial warehouse.