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Only a few scribbles existed on the walls when SmashIt2 opened in July on Canterburty Street in Worcester.
Even amid a global pandemic, only a few months later, messages from visitors clutter the walls with each one cementing a memory from destroying vases, television sets or windows.
“We came. We saw. We smashed” stands out in neon pink paint as one of hundreds in a hallway illuminated with black light.
“The most rewarding part that we’re seeing is they all come with a story and they all share their story and the beauty of it is our wall,” said Darcy Cook, who founded Smash It 2 with her brother, Joseph Ceccarelli. “It’s filling up because everyone takes the opportunity to sign the wall and share their excitement and feelings.”
Since opening the first smash room in Central Massachusetts, patrons have flocked the space on dates, bachelor parties, work retreats and those just needing to smash through stress by destroying a few things.
The rooms with SmashIt2 allow visitors to out frustration with a swing of a sledgehammer.
“It’s funny really, the bartender is kind of the local therapist in the neighborhood. I kind of feel like we’re having the same kind of effect,” Ceccarelli said. “People are coming out of the room and being like I really need to do this. They’re just letting it out.”
Demand forced Cook and Ceccarelli to transform the space, which once included four rooms.
SmashIt2 now features two large rooms that allow for larger groups.
Still capacity for each room combined is 10, less than half the number that Massachusetts’ reopening guidelines would allow for the space based on its square footage.
“What makes this place so safe and a good place to come to is that it’s controlled numbers, minimum contact with other people and your rooms are your rooms,” Cook said.
In the back of the building, two garage doors are opened at night to increase the flow of air through the space. Even when temperatures drop, Cook said, the doors will remain open. The physical exertion of smashing objects combined with the protective equipment worn by visitors, Cook said, won’t make the space feel too cold during the winter.
“It’s probably one of the safest places to come,” Cook said.
SmashIt2 waits for nightfall to open the doors to fully take advantage of the black lights installed into each room.
Neon spray paint pops throughout each room in the form of bullseyes and SmashIt logos on the wall.
The atmosphere plays into a month of events lined up in October that includes a 12-foot skeleton in the back room, a coffin with another skeleton in the front room and a restroom filled with spooks to celebrate Halloween.
A portion of every sale in October will be donated to cancer research, Cook said. Items from the SmashIt closet are spray-painted pink to bring awareness to breast cancer.
On Columbus Day weekend, those who purchase a package will get a free pink toilet to smash. Outside, SmashIt2 will host a car smashing. Visitors can pay $5 per minute to smash the car with 100% of the proceeds going to cancer research.
The month ends with a Halloween event, “Spooky Smash,” in partnership with the Worcester Beer Garden and Pavilion.
For $25, visitors receive a bucket full of junk to smash. The price includes a beer at the Beer Garden as well and 20% off an appetizer.
Still months away, Cook and Ceccarelli are also already planning a smash bash to end 2020.
“Smash out 2020,” Cook said. “Bring in 2021”