Saturday, March 22, 2008

Noise Levels in Restaurants

Michael Bauer, critic at the SF Chronicle, had an interesting post on noisy restaurants this week. Apparently, it's something at critics in LA and Washington DC are looking into as well. (The Chron now includes a decibel rating along with their regular reviews.) While larger cities seem to have more restaurants in enormous open spaces with tall windows and cement or tile floors than we do, I've noticed -- especially in summer -- the penchant here for restaurants to add live music to your dining experience often overpowering instead of enhancing it. Anyone in town need to tone it down?


Anonymous said...

I can't hear myself think, let alone hear the other people at my own table at either of the Patachous. I'm like a lot of baby boomers and have baby boomer hearing problems, a trend restaurant management should take note of. Real soon I'll have a lot more time to spend in restaurants - and will choose the ones that work acoustically for me.

Anonymous said...

While I dont frequent it often (too long of a wait for below average food), it seems like every time I go into Cheeseburger in Paradise they have live music that is turned up so loud I can't even order my food without losing my voice in the process.

I do understand that they are trying to give their customers more of an experience. But part of what I enjoy most about dining out is being able to sit and converse and enjoy my surroundings, not have to adjust to them.

I could sit at home and blare music I WANT to hear for free, why are you shoving it down my thoat>

Anonymous said...

I have stopped going to Cheeseburger because of the noise levels. When I go out with friends I want to be to talk to them.

Gastroholic said...

Um, I know I may be splitting hairs here, but isn't "Cheeseburger" owned by an obnoxiously famous rock star? And isn't "cheeseburger" based on a ridiculously famous rock song by this crazy parrot head? Wouldn't you expect a chain restaurant named Cheeseburger in Paradise to be a little obnoxious?
Kind of like complaining about the music selection at Hard Rock. Your choice to abandon "Cheeseburger" because of it's noise level will probably pay off in ways that you may not even realize for years.

Anonymous said...

forgot to say, I also can't hear a word in the Broad Ripple Steak House - it must be the ceiling in there bouncing the sound all around.