Isn't it time to stop whining about noisy restaurants?
I'll try to resist ranting about this subject by turning the question of the tile over to a poll. Otherwise, I'd be inclined to write a diatribe about why noisy restaurants are a sign of a successful and exciting industry rather than some nuisance to be lamented, as so often seems to happen around these parts.
The latest in a long string of articles about the "deafening" levels of noise produced in the dining rooms of Toronto's popular downtown restaurants comes courtesy of the Star. While admittedly not a one-sided editorial so much as report on the continuing complaints, it's tiring to encounter continued coverage of this issue. Young, vibrant cities have loud restaurants. They also have quiet restaurants. Caveat Emptor. Are you listening, Anti-Noise Pollution League?
Restaurants are private businesses compelled to turn a profit. If their owners were of the opinion that noise levels were hurting the bottom line, then you'd likely see them take action to correct what would then be deemed a problem. But places like Pizzeria Libretto, Guu SakaBar, Origin, Parts & Labour, and Ruby Watch Co. (to name a scant few) are pretty much packed every night, so clearly these restaurateurs have their concepts right.
If there's something new brought to bear on the debate in this most recent article it's the suggestion that restaurant reviewers include a rating system for decibel levels in their write-ups. That might be an idea, though I can't imagine the average NYC or Montreal diner requesting such a thing. In my experience, even the 50+ crowd in those cities doesn't mind a bustling and loud dining room. I guess it's the trace of our old misguided Victorian morality rearing its face, but let's get over it already.
What do you think?
Photo of Guu SakaBar by Bridgette Noel
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