Music Volume Control at bars
[PLEASE NOTE: This thread was moved from the Boston board-- The Chowhound Team]
Not really a food question. Are there places where people hang out for hours where you can have a few drinks and not have to scream over the loud recorded music or the red sox game, or both? Does anyone know the reason some places make it necessary to scream to have a conversation?
This topic has come up before, so I'll reiterate an old opinion. In bars and restaurants, the type and volume of music played is a purposeful choice. I like Bukowski's painfully loud soundtrack sometimes. Different destinations for different moods: you don't go to the Sligo for a Cosmos, the Ritz for jello shots, or the Buk for quiet conversation.
That said, the fancy hotel bar suggestion is a fine one: the Bristol, the old Ritz Bar, City Bar, Brasserie Jo, Clio, the patio at Cuffs (Jurys Hotel), Rialto, the Oak Bar, the Rowes Wharf Bar (at the Boston Harbor Hotel, hard to find), Bar 10, Beacon Hill Bistro, the Fed, Jer-Ne, Spire.
Some quiet or reasonably quiet restaurant bars: Lucca, Prezza, Icarus, Khao Sarn (not what you'd expect, i.e., good bartending), No. 9 Park, Fugakyu (the restaurant bar, not the hideous chrome-plated one), Hamersley's (though the quality of bartending is highly variable), Neptune Oyster, the non-music side of Les Zyg (with surprisingly good cocktails for a wine bar).
Looking at this list, I'd say quiet equals expensive.
Well for one, never ever ever go to Bukowski's in Inman Square. I think they are the worst offenders. That place would be such a great place with their decent food, great beer list, and huge open windows in the summer, but the painfully loud music ruins the place.
Except when there is a game, I don't find the volume at the Publick House to be too bad, most of the noise comes from patrons, not the sound system----plus they have great beer.
Hotel bars never have very loud music. I like Charlesmark on Boylston because they have outdoor seating, decent bartenders, and lack that hotel-feel (i.e. no lobby, 90% of the customers are not hotel guests).