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Jul 29, 2008 12:01 PM

Noisy Restaurants: A painful experiance

Twice in the last few weeks I have been to good restaurants with great food that have been so noisy that I couldn't participate in conversations with my fellow diners and in the end my ears actually hurt by the time the meal was completed.

It's a pity, but I will not be returning to these establishments in so much as a very nice meal has been turned into an unpleasant experience because restaurateurs will not spend what it takes to provide their customers with a pleasant dining experience at a reasonable noise level.

Most recent on the list of never to return; Voltaire, Umi Sake House, Olives Wine Bar.

Has anyone else had similar experiences? Care to share the names of offenders?


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  1. In Portland, The Alberta Street Oyster Bar and Grill has great food, but gets terribly noisy. I have not been back for several months.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BellaDolce22

      I can relate, because my husband just hates loud restaurants, and that is one of the biggest criteria in selecting where to eat. Even if he loved it, he won't go back if it is too noisy. There are many that are way too loud.

    2. It's not fancy or anything but I won't eat at Gordito's in Ballard
      again due to the earsplitting music they always play.
      It's at dance club decibels in there.
      And no, I'm not an old fart.

      1. Quinn's and Black Bottle both have awful acoustics. Depending on the crowd and where one is seated, the noise can be quite unbearable.

        I still put up with it at Quinn's, though.

        1 Reply
        1. re: terrier

          I have to agree and it's really too bad the food at both places is just great. I assume they calculate that the buisness lost is not worth the expence of an accoustic engineer, some fabric and carpet.

        2. Mama Melina's - really loud piano player last time we went. Will never return.

          Pesos at brunch - very strange time for LOUD dance music. Oh well, I love the carne asada & eggs!

          1. Cactus Ya Ya in Vancouver, WA
            Crow on lower Queen Anne in Seattle

            Just invest in a little sound baffling! The noise pings all over the ceiling and walls and I end up nodding and smiling with no idea what's being said.