Wollongong smash room would be a 'therapy session'

LET FLY: A customer gets into the swing of things at the former Kogarah smash room.
LET FLY: A customer gets into the swing of things at the former Kogarah smash room.

Feeling stressed, cranky, or a bit pent up?

Wollongong residents may soon be able to take out their frustrations on the furniture or household crockery – without any repercussions.

An Illawarra trio plans to set up a “smash room” in the CBD where people can, for a fee, spend ten minutes smashing up various gear with a baseball bat.

The smash room on Burelli St, Wollongong, would follow similar facilities which have been established in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and the Sunshine Coast, but would be a first for the Illawarra.

One of the brains behind the proposal is an experienced appliance repairman, who put two and two together while feeling the stress from work.

The site from Kenny St

The site from Kenny St

Smashlab Pty Ltd founder Ryan Capobianco, 25, said the venue would allow people to take out their frustrations – wearing full protective gear – and not have to clean up afterwards.

“It was a mix between a lot of [broken] appliances around, and the stresses of life and a stressful job – and also a hole in the market,” Mr Capobianco said.

“I classify it as a therapy session. You get to go in guilt-free, you smash it up and then you leave, and you don’t have to clean it up.

“You can throw a plate in your kitchen, but then you realise now I’ve got to clean it up, and you’re down a plate, you have to go to Kmart.”

Smashable items are provided as part of the entry fee – estimated at $45 for a ten-minute session – and include plates, bottles, vases and appliances including fridges, washing machines and driers – “anything that’s breakable really, anything you can have some fun with”.

The venue would be the former site of Mawson’s locksmiths shop, with its entrance from Kenny St. A development application is on display with Wollongong City Council.

The experience in Sydney has found about 75 per cent of smash room customers are women, to the surprise of proprietors.

But Mr Capobianco, of Mt Warrigal, said he thought the target market in Wollongong would be broad.

“We’re targeting everyone from the average Joe to people who have an office job, a stressful job dealing with customers, a stressful boss – they can just come in and slug it out then leave.”

Mr Capobianco said there would be deals available for hen’s and buck’s nights and corporate groups.

Smashlab’s development application says the proposal is compliant with development controls, including opening hours, which would include after work on Friday, 11am-9pm on Saturday, 11am-6pm Sunday, and Monday-Thursday group and private bookings only.