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How Loud is Too Loud When Dining Out?

By Lauren Mattia
Published: Monday, January 17, 2011, at 04:51PM
Bottega Louie's Paul Anders

Steady weekend business at Bottega Louie leaves many patrons with a ringing in their ears after a loud dining experience.

While new trendy dining spot Mas Malo on Restaurant Row has been garnering steady business since its opening, the spot is proof that the overall effect of thriving business is a loud atmosphere.

On Friday night, testing by blogdowntown—conducted with an iPhone 4 and the Decibel app—showed readings consistently around 90 decibels. Those levels would rate a "extremely loud" from the Washington Post and a "bomb" from the San Francisco Chronicle, two papers that have added noise levels to their restaurant reviews in recent years.

Bottega Louie, just steps away from Mas Malo and occupying an equally vast space, has received complaints from Yelp reviewers, who have noted that "the size works against itself when trying to have a conversation."

While successful weekend business of Downtown restaurants is an exciting part of revitalization, does the high volume of background noise negatively affect Downtowners' dining experience? Or does the high noise level add to the excitement of Downtown's growing restaurant scene?

We'd like to know what readers think. Feel free to speak your mind in the comments section below.


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