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Excessive Noise in Restaurants - Enough is Enough, and It's Also Too Much


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#1 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 11:17 AM

Completely agree about the noise. Not only is it loud even by today's standards, but they have utilized every inch of space - I simply don't see where they could insert even one single additional two-top. Okay, so it's distressingly noisy, the tables are absolutely packed together ...


{Perhaps now is the time to start a thread devoted to NOISE...?}

I avoid restaurants that are noisy, and I wish the owners would get the point. How is it possible to enjoy a meal when you can't hear the conversation at your table and shrieking to be heard by the wait staff is required?

Add this one to the growing list that includes next door Bazin's as well, Matchbox, any GAR restaurant, Mussel Bar, and most of Union Station....

Do you eat chicken with your fingers?
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#2 DonRocks

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 11:46 AM

{Perhaps now is the time to start a thread devoted to NOISE...?}

I avoid restaurants that are noisy, and I wish the owners would get the point. How is it possible to enjoy a meal when you can't hear the conversation at your table and shrieking to be heard by the wait staff is required?


I couldn't agree more.

I was going to write my thoughts as to why, in recent years, restaurants have become as loud as rock concerts, but then I realized that, surely, this has already been written. Here are some articles:

"Pass The Salt ... And A Megaphone," by Katy McLaughlin in the Wall Street Journal

"How Restaurants Get You Drunk," by George Prochnik in The Daily Beast

"Why Do So Many People Tolerate Noisy Restaurants?" a thread on Chow.com

"Why Are There So Many Noisy Restaurants," by Jancis Robinson on JancisRobinson.com

And for those who want my quick summary: 1) linens, carpeting, drapes, and soundproofing cost a lot of money, 2) an energetic "vibe" makes people order drinks, eat fast, and get the hell out, and 3) people perceive a noisy restaurant as a popular restaurant and are naturally drawn into it.

The noisiest restaurant I've ever been to is Avec in Chicago where my friend and I were literally shouting at each across a small two-top, but many other DC restaurants come close, and in my opinion, they deserve to be called down to the mat for being cheap, lazy, and greedy. Then again, they're only responding to our fast-paced, "more is better" culture which has been brainwashed by shrewd marketers since ... well, my dad became addicted to cigarettes in the 1930s before having the balls to quit 50 years later - something that I will respect him for for the rest of my life (sorry to toss that one in there, but I have so much respect for the man for having done this after struggling with it for decades).

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#3 jayandstacey

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 12:20 PM

The noisiest restaurant I've ever been to is Avec in Chicago where my friend and I were literally shouting at each across a small two-top, but many other DC restaurants come close, and in my opinion, they deserve to be called down to the mat for being cheap, lazy, and greedy. Then again, they're only responding to our fast-paced, "more is better" culture which has been brainwashed by shrewd marketers since ... well, my dad became addicted to cigarettes in the 1930s before having the balls to quit 50 years later - something that I will respect him for for the rest of my life (sorry to toss that one in there, but I have so much respect for the man for having done this after struggling with it for decades).


So, I think above you equated a high noise level with a need to be called to the mat for being cheap, lazy and greedy.

Is it possible, at least just a little possible, that in some cases the loud restaurant doesn't deserve any of those accusations, rather, the restaurant is an attempt to make a quality place but in an atmosphere you don't appreciate?

As a teenager/young adult, I preferred loud places - the louder the better. I don't anymore but why would I expect all places be quiet or even moderately loud? Conversely, why do we have to assume that if the target demo is young...that the food can't also be good and the effort lauded?

We're all of course entitled to our opinions and no amount of great food will make me enjoy sitting in noise. But I don't think it automatically means the owners are cheap, lazy and greedy. Or even one of those things.

#4 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 02:52 PM

The noisiest restaurant I've ever been to is Avec in Chicago where my friend and I were literally shouting at each across a small two-top, but many other DC restaurants come close, and in my opinion, they deserve to be called down to the mat for being cheap, lazy, and greedy. Then again, they're only responding to our fast-paced, "more is better" culture which has been brainwashed by shrewd marketers since ...


My noisiest experience was at RN74 in San Francisco....the place has a train station theme, even with the arrival-departure boards overhead (but with the ever-changining wine list, not actual arrivals and departures) and it quite possibly was louder than an actual train station. There was absolutely no way to carry on a conversation at our 4-top, and we stopped trying. We couldn't get out of there fast enough....

Do you eat chicken with your fingers?
No, I eat my fingers separately.





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