Ever feel the urge to release some pent-up emotions by just smashing something? There's now a place where you can do just that, legally and safely, in Birdsboro.
Berks County's first rage room, The Anger House LLC, held its grand opening on June 12. Described as both a recreational and therapeutic activity by husband and wife owners Scott and Meghan Weaver Jr., the new business invites customers to come inside and start breaking stuff.
"We're providing a very safe environment for people to come and let their emotions out, or honestly just have fun," Meghan said.
Located in the Maple Springs shopping center along Route 724, The Anger House outfits guests with protective gear and tools of destruction such as hammers or a baseball bat. The store can also provide materials to smash — anything from small glassware and knickknacks to computers and TVs — or people can take their own junk inside the wrecking room.
Packages start at $15 for five minutes and reservations can be made either online or over the phone. Or, if you had a bad day at work or school, walk-ins are welcome, too.
And don't worry about the mess when you're finished, either. The Anger House will even clean up after you.
"I've noticed over the past year that so many people are on edge, angry, ready to explode," Scott said. "People need this right now."
People are moved to tears
A graduate of Reading High School, Scott first learned about the concept of a rage room from reading a story about a similar business in California that appeared in the Reading Eagle.
When he searched online for rage rooms, he found only around 60 across the country — and none in the Berks region.
"I wanted to get it in before anybody else did it," Scott said. "So I called (Meghan) and she said, 'Make a plan.' We made a plan and it was literally less than three months from when I read the article until we opened.
"With everything going on, I figured there are a lot of angry people out there."
Meghan, a Central Catholic grad with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Alvernia University, had 14 years prior experience working in the human services field, connecting people with resources to treat mental health.
Throughout her career, she saw many cases where a person could've used or benefitted from the type of outlet The Anger House provides.
"We're always looking for new ways to help people," Meghan said. "There's a plethora of therapies treatment programs, but there's nothing like this. There's not a safe place where people can come to just let out their emotion."
Already, the couple has seen firsthand the relief The Anger House can provide customers, including teenage children and their parents.
"We had a mom almost cry because her two kids, she said, 'I haven't seen them smile like that in over a year,'" Scott said. "They were in there having fun."
The neighbors approve
So far, the local community is embracing its rage room.
While The Anger House will replenish its stock of breakables at yard sales, auctions and flea markets, it also relies on donations for materials.
"Our grand opening day, we got here and there were 400 plates sitting outside that somebody just dropped off for us," Scott said. It turned out they were from the Birdsboro-Union Fire Department.
"95% of it is things people just gave us. Every day somebody messages me, 'Hey, I'm cleaning out my house, I've got stuff.' Bring it on over."
Apparently, the Weavers weren't even the only entrepreneurs in the area considering opening a rage room.
"Actually, when the renter was showing the place, she asked, 'What are you gonna put in here,'" Scott said. "I said a rage room and she was like, 'I was gonna do that!'
"A lot of people were talking about it. Her only stipulation she wanted to make the room so it was kind of soundproof."
The Anger House is here to help
Between the sound of glass shattering, the thud of blunt objects slamming into electronics and the customer's pick of music to set as the soundtrack of their wave of destruction — classical seems like the obvious choice — The Anger House is definitely making some noise.
"There's a ton of different tools you can use to smash," Meghan said. "Sledgehammers, handicap rails, there's a crowbar in there."
It is safety-first, though, which means wearing the provided protective coveralls, helmet, face shield and gloves, following the posted rules and signing a waiver. While observers aren't allowed in the rage room, they can watch through a window.
Small concessions for a one-of-a-kind experience in the area.
Should The Anger House take off like the Weavers think it could, the goal is to eventually expand into a larger space with multiple rooms for raging, or throwing paint on canvasses — perhaps even garage bays for car smashes.
The goal is to provide a form of help and enjoyment to as many people as possible, however unconventional the methods might seem.
"It's a new way of helping people in Berks County," Meghan said, "but also just bringing some different fun for people."