Besides bad service, too much noise is the biggest complaint people have about eating out, according to reviews site Zagat. And I agree. While a hip, happening place is fun for a single cocktail, it can be maddening, not to mention headache-inducing, when it comes to sustaining a dinner conversation.
Restaurateur John Paluska concurs: "Not being able to carry on a conversation in a restaurant that I was enjoying was really frustrating," he said, adding that it would be a conflicting experience. Even though he liked the place, he wasn't sure he'd want to go back "because I felt exhausted and had a really hard time carrying on a conversation when I was there," he said.
When Paluska decided to open his own restaurant in downtown Berkeley, Calif., designing a chitchat-friendly acoustic environment was one of the top priorities. "More and more restaurants are getting built in spaces that have a lot of hard, reflective surfaces, and there's not a lot of thought put into the sonic environment of the space," he says. … Read more