'Could you turn down the music, please!'

This is a long-running pet peeve, but it seems to be getting worse. I’ve visited several restaurants lately that seem to be tone deaf. Music so loud you could not communicate or enjoy the experience. The crowd gets loud too trying to talk over the music. Then they forget about the TVs adding to the chaos. Have you been in this environment? Who’s to blame? As a customer, what do you do about it?

There’s not much to be done. FOH knows very well how loud the music is. It, and the hard surfaces in the dining room, are designed to create a party or club atmosphere. The current target diner is young and free-spending as opposed to decades past when it was the older crowd who could afford to dine out. A serene dining room is seen as an anathema to both young diners and the house.

There’s a current joke, the music isn’t too loud, you’re (we’re) too old.


I ask if they can turn it down and they usually do. Re the tv it seems to be on closed captioning.

I remember when Animal first opened everybody complained about how loud it was because the walls and ceiling didn’t absorb any sound. They eventually added some type of rug/carpet things and the noise levels improved but it was still pretty loud inside.

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Aaron London, c/o of Al’s Place (SF) said in an interview that he wanted a loud, party atmosphere. Plain and simple.

There’s a market for it.

Part of the reason I avoided Pizzeria Mozza for years was music that would have been irritating even if it hadn’t been ear-damaging loud.

I’ve never noticed it being particularly loud at Animal.

I dislike Hayato because it’s like eating at a library. Give me that parental advisory 90’s hip hop.

I guess it’s all in the ears of the beholder. There is a happy medium somewhere. Though sometimes the staff is totally oblivious…

It wasn’t so much the music being loud, as it was the acoustics in general. A lot of hard surfaces and no sound absorption… not sure, but it was loud.

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Haven’t been to Hayato but I’ve been to similarly quiet, austere establishments and never really thought about it that way. Funny.

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It’s not the music per se but large tables trying to converse over the music, and others trying to talk over THEM. An eventual shouting match,
Husband often says, “Speak up! I can’t hear you.” I tell him it wasn’t important and can wait ‘til later. This is hardly pleasant dinner conversation. I won’t sit and scream across the table all night.


The other thing is restaurants started squeezing more tables into their space. Understandably with the rents so high, but still.

My name is butteredwaffles and I like quiet restaurants


Walked out of a loud-ass tavern last night. While the bartender did try to lower the music on her hand held, it seemed to creep back up. Not pleasant! All was not lost though, we ended up at an old standby and it turned out fine…

“Walking out” might deserve a thread of its own. Husband occasionally brings up crappy experiences that we should have foreseen before they escalated. Like when things start going sideways from your expectations within 5 minutes of your arrival, it may be time to cut your losses, leave whatever tip seems correct, and split.


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