Joe Lupa, the owner of Chicago’s first and only rage room, boils his business down to a simple consumer demand: people like smashing stuff.
“I don’t know when the last time you smashed something was on purpose – ‘on purpose’ is very important,” Lupa said. “But it’s just fun to break stuff, it’s really that simple in some ways. It can be much deeper, but it really is that simple at its core.”
Lupa opened Escapades Rage Room in the city’s Near North Side neighborhood in fall 2017.
Customers can book time to destroy their own objects or purchase discarded computer monitors, television sets, printers, plates, tiles and even a 3D-printed plastic bust of President Donald Trump from the rage room to smash.
Sandra Serrano sent a flurry of plastic and metal into the air as she smashed away at broken printers and TV sets on Saturday.
“If you have a lot of tension, it just helps – you don’t have to take it out on anyone else but these items,” Serrano said. “But I do feel like cleaning up afterwards.”
Lupa said he tries to keep his business as green as possible and encourages people to bring in their unwanted electronic waste to smash into recyclables.
“We can smash it here and start the recycling process by breaking it into its recyclable components and then we recycle it from here,” Lupa said.
Video and story by Evan Garcia for WTTW News