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Mar 22, 2014 02:22 PM

How loud is Alden and Harlow?

Music from Alden and Harlow has now ruined two Brattle movies for me over the last week. How loud is it in there? Is it at all bearable?

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  1. I think it's pretty loud, if not Lincoln Tavern / Cinquecento / Grill 23 loud. Better at the far end of the bar from the host stand and in the little greenhouse area of the dining room.

    That's a big bummer for the Brattle. Constant outside noise really does ruin a movie.

    1. gosh d, that's awful. I hope you complained to the theater mngmt about it, so they can amass enough complaints to go talk to A and H people.

      1. Brattle management is very much aware. We ran into this on Alden Harlow's opening weekend, and the Brattle people had already heard voluminous complaints about it. We've taken to watching movies in the Balcony as the music from AH isn't bothersome up there.

        This doesn't need to be taken up with the Brattle people, it needs to be taken up directly with the AH people. They're the ones who caused the problem (this was never a problem with Casablanca) and they're the ones who need to fix it.

        6 Replies
        1. re: VintageMolly

          I'm glad they are aware. I hope this resolves itself soon. In the mean time, I certainly won't be supporting A&H, which sounds like the restaurant equivalent of a jerky neighbor.

          1. re: dlieb

            dlieb, kind of a major action; wouldn't you want first hand experience that the A&H owners are jerks-before boycotting them? You might find out something very different than you thought...

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              I guess I didn't think it was that extreme. I try to be pretty careful with where/how I spend my money and with myriad great restaurants that don't overpower the Brattle, the choice seems easy.

              Perhaps there is some kind of satisfying explanation for why A&H has to have their music so loud, but I'm skeptical. That said, I'd certainly change my mind when presented with convincing evidence.

              1. re: dlieb

                I should also clarify that the Brattle people are definitely in talks with A&H about this, and it doesn't seem like a resolution is forthcoming. We asked about it at the Brattle a week or two ago, the last time we were there, and the response of the Brattle employee we asked seemed to indicate that they've been negotiating on this point and little progress has been made.

                I'm honestly surprised it's gone on this long. The interviews with Michael Scelfo suggest he reads the reviews and is interested in responding to customers. A&H is his dream, he really wants it to succeed. I went through the Yelp reviews, and there aren't any ranty one star reviews about the Brattle noise there, surprisingly.

                I hope this isn't the case, but it seems like a case of "It isn't hurting us, let's not deal with it until it does." Maybe they're working on a resolution that will take some time to install (soundproofing), but until there is an outward indication that a resolution is coming, A&H management should the recipient of the complaints.

                I'm really looking forward to trying A&H and having something awesome within walking distance, but the sound situation at Brattle has made me less than enthusiastic.

                1. re: VintageMolly

                  The mngr of the Brattle is super nice, very laid back and one of the most positive people out there and I was taken back by his level of frustration with this matter. He said A&H basically doesn't care. Turns out A&H put new speakers in their ceiling and never bothered to get them insulated or sound proofed. The music travels throughout the building and into the Brattle Theater. They have acknowledged there maybe a problem and have done nothing to remedy the situation.

                  If this is true I wish the worst upon them. You don't F with the Brattle.

                  1. re: Unfoodie

                    If that's the case, no wonder there is (a lot of) sound leakage into the Brattle. I had in ceiling speakers installed in a previous residence, and the installer was supposed to (and claimed to have) insulated them. The sound was as if it was playing directly into the bedroom above the speakers even on low volumes. I pulled the speakers and found no insulation. Another installer recommended that not only did we need to insulate, but build dedicated enclosures to keep the sound somewhat contained. It wasn't as expensive a fix as I feared and made a big difference.

                    A&H should be willing to remedy this. I enjoy A&H quite a bit, but this is definitely a turn off. Being a good neighbor is good policy for any business, not forgetting that the Brattle is an long standing institution which had no known issues with Casablanca.

        2. I have been to A&H several times for the bar and dinner - did not notice loud music then (I do totally believe it interrupted the film - it was loud in the washroom - maybe that's the issue?) but I have noticed extremely hospitable and accommodating service from all perspectives (not to mention pretty great food and drinks).

          I would be surprised if they didn't also want to be good neighbors to the Brattle and others as it appears they are in it for the long haul in the 'hood.

          It may also be powerful to having potential customers walk in and let them know of the issue in addition to hearing from Brattle management (agree with Molly that you should speak to a manager at A&H).

          I can imagine that if they do need to maintain the volume in A&H, it may require additional sound insulation, which could takes some time and budget to install...

          1. Wife and I were at A&H just over a week ago on a Friday evening and did not find it all that loud (and that's something I'm definitely sensitive about in new restaurants.) We were in the far end of the dining room, away from the bar, so maybe that made the difference. Would be disappointed to learn that A&H management cannot come up with a solution if theater patrons are being disturbed.