I have had this discussion with so many owners. They all agree that they are concerned about the comfort of their customers, but also tell me that in order to attract the later night drinking crowd, they need to come up with the whole sleek, modern, "happening" look. I counter that I can understand that the drinkers bring in the bucks, but they also tend to be a fickle, trendy lot with no establishment loyalty and will be off and runinng to the next hot spot. A couple of Owners have told me they are having "sound absorbinng" panels installed inside the dining areas in the hopes that it will provide a quieter environment. As I have stated in many posts, dining out is, for me, a total experience. If the food is outstanding, but I cannot connect with my tablemates, then the experience is not pleasurable. A big part of the joy of sharing the meal is being able to express that via the spoken word. I recently had an outstanding meal at a SI restaurant called:
833 Annadale Rd
Staten Island, NY 10312
Although the food ard service were terrific , I realized the interior of the restaurant absorbed the sounds of other diners, making it a more intimate dining experience. It really enhanced the evening for everyone.
I'm going to have to pass on those places that cannot or choose not to
install sound absorbing carpeting, drapes, panels, etc.
Life's waaaay tooo short to have to say "Huh?" every 10 seconds :-}