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May 14, 2012 01:13 PM

A solution for too noisy?

"John Paluska wants his new Berkeley Mexican restaurant Comal to be lively.

It would clash with his image if the restaurant were as quiet as a Carthusian monastery - he was, after all, manager of the rock band Phish for 17 years. But the line between creating a festive atmosphere and making sure diners can hear themselves talk is a fine one for restaurateurs."

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Sounds good!

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  1. It seems that there are many diners, who do NOT wish to hear anything BUT the music and noise in a restaurant. The gravitate to such establishments, and many designers work to create that "lively vibe," but I am not likely to be dining there.

    I am one of those few diners, who actually does enjoy hearing my guests speak. Old-school, I guess?

    Guess that they are off of my list, but then I am only in San Francisco about 20 times per year, and seldom venture to Berkeley.

    I will take Campton Place instead..


    2 Replies
    1. re: Bill Hunt

      *Only* 20 times a year? Heehee! I've been to SF twice in my *life* ;)

      1. re: emmekin

        It is a great dining town, but sometimes the travel becomes a burden, and we are only 651 miles (per UAL) away. Still, we DO enjoy the dining!

        Since Jan, we have been there 8 times, and will be there 12 times, before October.


    2. Wouldnt it be nice if restaurants published the average decibel level along with the opening hours and dress code?

      3 Replies
      1. re: mbfant

        The reviewer for the Washington Post does that. I find it helpful to decide what occasion to go to the restaurant.

        1. re: chowser

          There is similar in the reviews from Open Table, and I always fill that in, just to let others know the dB level, and what to expect.


        2. re: mbfant

          Craig LaBan, restaurant critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, always includes weekend noise levels measured in decibels in his restaurant reviews, and notes that "Ideal is 75 decibels or less." I think it's a really helpful piece of information.