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Loud, obnoxious patrons

we have been going to Makiman since they opened their doors and it has always been wonderful: great food and terrific service. Friday night 1/28/12 was no exception, except for the HORRIBLE dining room ambience.
There was a large party of women celebrating (which is fine) but there was 1 woman who was so annoying, loud and obnoxious. My primary issue is that the staff did not do anything to ask this woman to lower her loud, boisterous, obnoxious behavior. I did consider going over to her myself and ask her to lower the volume, but was asked by my table companions not to do so. I am sure that I was not the only one in the restaurant whose meal was ruined by this "situation"
and I really feel the staff of Makiman dropped the ball in not addressing this issue.

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  1. Which Makiman location?

    1. Did you ask a staff member to say something? If not and nobody else in the restaurant asked, then I don't see how you can blame the staff for not saying something.

      1. Seems I am a magnet for loud, obnoxious people in restaurants. It is a difficult problem to deal with and depending on the establishment I will point out the situation to management. The hope is that they handle the situation with tact. I. in most cases ,will not approach this type situation personally. I don/t need a brew- ha-ha at dinner. A few times I have relocated which works sometimes depending on the room. I do wish restaurants would take it upon themselves to monitor this type thing. They usually do not, at least not here in Philadelphia. Not sure why.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Bacchus101

          unfortunately, moving is not an option at Makiman, it is a very small restaurant with 1 room and there is no place to move to except out the door, which is where we will be staying, out the door

            1. re: jman1

              Oh thanks jman1...i knew I probably had it wrong. Even made a small effort to find the correct spelling, which also failed. Thank you!

              1. re: Bacchus101

                Maybe you invented a new word? A brew ha ha could be a big fuss over beer. :)

                1. re: truffles2

                  Yes, yes indeed that is exactly what I had in mind! Well not really. Good thinking truffles2 thanks for the save of face!

            2. makiman Northeast Philadelphia.
              I did not ask the staff to address the situation and I should have, but in my defense there were other patrons in the restaurant, who were visibly annoyed, too. I really still feel that someone who works in the restaurant should have addressed this issue.

              3 Replies
              1. re: buggysmom

                There is nothing that can be said to defend the restaurant's inaction. I do know that Makiman's original owners sold this location after they opened one in CC. Perhaps what you experienced was the inexperienced management of a relative newbies to the restaurant business. I am sorry you had such a bad time.

                1. re: cwdonald

                  we just moved back to Philadelphia after 6 years out of state. we went to Makiman almost every time we came back home to visit. we did not know that Makiman had been sold, the food quality was consistently good.. maybe the new owners need some experience, but common sense would dictate asking someone loud to at least lower the volume.

                2. re: buggysmom

                  I wonder if there was a manager on duty at all that night buggysmom. So many of the worst problems I've had in restaurants, etc have been when an inexperienced hand has been steering the ship. It sounds like everyone working there dropped the ball. I'm so tempted to make a post on General asking if hounds think it is the staff's duty to notice when patrons are visibly annoyed by something. And maybe actually do something without being specifically asked. Sounds like a staring contest where no one blinked and the customers lost the contest.
                  I wasn't there obviously but maybe the staff had no one to report to or the manager made it known that he or she was not to be disturbed. Doubt this post will put a dent in their Valentine's Day profits but at least you have alerted some hounds not to try to have a quiet romantic dinner there with their own true love.

                3. That sucks buggysmom. I have sometimes gotten the rest of my meal to go. How awful for you and everyone else suffering. Was there a great deal of alcohol involved? I might have tried to give one of the other members of the celebrating group what John would call the "puppy dog" eyes. Might be interesting to throw this up in General asking what others have done if they were dining with an obnoxious friend. I'm surprised one of her table mates didn't shush her. I guess they were oblivious.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: givemecarbs

                    Ooh, now there is a topic. I do have friends (a couple) who tend to be annoying in restaurants. They love to drink a lot of wine (who doesn't?) and their volume increases as the night goes on - sometimes in competition with each other. Sometimes that volume is used to be overly critical of minor details of the restaurant or food. What do I do? Avoid nicer restaurants with them. Stick to dinners at home or noisy restaurant/bar places where they blend in. With some friends, a little goes a long way if you know what I mean.

                    1. re: truffles2

                      Sure do.Same with family. My friend took his mom to Lambertville Station for her birthday with a few other family members and she complained very loudly that the food was better at McDonald's. Now she may have been correct but there was not even any alcohol involved. /groan.

                      1. re: truffles2

                        My husband has a naturally loud voice and once you throw in some alcohol, it's ridiculously loud. That can get really embarrassing in a restaurants. Loud restaurants can drown out his volume but more quiet higher end restaurants make his voice just echo. I always try to tone it down by hushing him or saying "volume". Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't but it's so annoying. No one has ever spoken to us but I definitely get lots of puppy dog looks!

                        1. re: AmblerGirl

                          i can't verify the alcohol in this lady, but the other patrons had more puppy dog looks to fill the Puppy Bowl.

                          1. re: AmblerGirl

                            My SO is like that, too. People around us usually seem pretty entertained (he is really funny), so I don't get embarrassed. I will say something to him if his language starts to get colorful. No one has ever spoken to us about it, either; but if they did, it wouldn't be an issue...although he may crack a parting joke at their expense...

                      2. Sad situation for me when even reputable restauranteurs (Steven Starr, Peter McAndrews) seem to think that a loud room is a good room.

                        I've stopped going to Modo Mio (although I love the food) and am reluctant to try Route 6.

                        When the decibels get high, I get physically ill from the stress -- headache and stomach ache -- and have to leave.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Seeker19104

                          Yes it's pretty absurd when restaurant critics print the decibel levels of restaurants with their reviews (Craig Laban).

                          1. re: Seeker19104

                            Well said, Seeker. We make some adjustment to our standards for restaurant noises depending on the type of establishment ; but too loud and we are gone. I am not sure why this has happened and why restaurateurs of some note allow this cacophony: which cheapens their operation. This seems to be a recent thing(5 years or so?) and it is most certainly omnipresent in the Philadelphia Metro area. Or is it a Yogi thing? So busy it is too loud so nobody goes there anymore!

                            1. re: Bacchus101

                              I think the idea is that the noise creates a "scene" that make people feel like they are going somewhere cool where everyone is having a good time. The restaurant is not just a place to eat, it's the centerpiece of your night out. This is not an accident or something they just "allow" to happen; Starr in particular deliberately makes his restaurants loud, and the idea works. Remember that his background is in concert/club promotion and his early success of places like Continental and Buddhakhan was totally based on making the restaurant a more theatrical experience.

                              The other factor is that restaurants now squeeze in so many tables that noise on a busy night is basically inevitable. At small BYOBs like Modo Mio, I'm not sure there is much they can even do with so many people in such a small space. A high noise level has become so common and acceptable that restauranteurs have little incentive to dampen the noise in a serious way.

                              The sad reality is that if you want a peaceful, quiet meal you have to pay a premium and go somewhere like Lacroix, Fountain, or one of the steakhouses. I agree with you that it's gotten totally out of hand in Philly, not sure if it's as endemic in other cities, I hope there is soon a backlash against such loud restaurants but that is probably wishful thinking, unfortunately.

                              1. re: barryg

                                BG, Interesting observations and informed opinions. Create a "scene" got it, and the more tables wedged in the more profitable the space, both increasing noise levels. Let us hope this trend can be moderated toward more civility.

                                1. re: barryg

                                  This is an excellent point. So many tiny restaurants squeeze tables in every square inch. For me, often the spacing becomes more of an issue than the noise. If it takes me 10 minutes to get to the bathroom because I'm bumping into the hostess and waiting for others to push in their chair, it's too tight. Can't say I've ever turned a place down because of this, but it sure gets on my nerves.

                                  1. re: tzanghi

                                    blah. this is the exact reason i will not go back to amada. it's super loud in there, and the tables are all jammed together, making it difficult to get up and leave the table.

                                    1. re: purplesachi

                                      That's actually the main restaurant I had in mind when I was writing that. I was just there on Saturday night in the back by the second bar. It was awkward just getting up to visit the restroom because I could barely squeeze between my table and the one next to it without touching the other table. Also, when you walk past the kitchen you feel like you are in everyone's way because all the waiters and busboys stay off to the side to let you through. Not impressed enough with the food to endure that again.

                            2. I feel your pain to anyone who seems to either attract or always be seated right next to “that table” because it seems that’s exactly what happens to my husband and I all too often. I’ve never thought to ask staff at a restaurant to intervene. People who are overly loud and obnoxious in restaurants are often self-centered and selfish. They’re having a good time and everyone else be damned! Shame isn’t it?

                              When Ralph’s had a restaurant in Ambler, my husband and I ate there once and decided never to go back… we liked the food, but the noise level was such that we both had a splitting headache by the time we left. I understand that the ceiling contributed, but when every person needs to speak louder to be heard over the usual din of a restaurant, it can culminate in an absolute crescendo of just noise, which is too much for us to bear.

                              1. Wow buggysmom your thread seems to hit a nerve with your fellow chowhounds. Thanks for posting this. Looks like puppy dog eyes from hounds can only do so much.
                                I'm delighted to see this discussion still going strong and I did think of something else. This has happened to me so many times over the years that I have become quite assertive about which table I want. I'm not usually that good about sticking up for myself but painful experience has taught me to just say no to iffy seating and either wait for another table or bounce if I'm having qualms. I've learned not to count on any dining companions to do my "dirty work" as I simply care more than most about where I sit.
                                Another thing I've figured out is not to be lulled into hoping the noisy table will leave soon just because they are finishing up their desserts or something. Sometimes they linger like a head cold in winter. Sometimes though despite all my tactical planning the worst happens. I was at East Cuisine when an older couple was seated at the booth next to us just as our food arrived. The older gent must have bathed in men's cologne earlier because I couldn't taste my food due to the stench. I should have gotten it to go but it was one of those rare situations where I had to eat then because my friend and I had a long busy evening ahead of us and time was pressing. I did suck it up and ate my food as fuel to salvage the rest of the evening but noise is not the only pollution we hounds face.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                  Makiman is extremely small and even in the best scenario, you are sitting "on top" of the next tables. i think that is one reason the noise was so unbearable, but this lady would have been loud and obnoxious in even a large dining area.

                                  1. re: givemecarbs

                                    I was faced with a similar situation at Tria awhile back. It was a typical busy night, and all were squeezed together at the bar, enjoying the scents and flavors of their wines, beers and cheeses. A seat opened up next to me and a young woman drenched in perfume sat down...and that was the end of my pleasant meal (and probably those of other patrons nearby). I tried turning to face away from her to finish, but it didn't really help.