Hey restaurants, keep it down, please

The trend in high noise levels in restaurants has gotten totally out of control. This letter is a plea to all area restaurants to not assume that a noisy room means that everyone is having a good time — your patrons are actually struggling to hear and be heard. After a drink it gets worse.

People dine together because they want to be together and the primary activity besides eating is talking and conversation. When people have to shout at each other for an hour or more they leave feeling exhausted, ears humming and disappointed that they couldn't follow the conversation — or just stopped trying to have one. 

Portofino Grill in La Porte is one of the few restaurants in the area that understands this problem and has done a great job dealing with it. Even with carpeting, soft window treatments, table cloths and fabric umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, the room still has a fun and lively buzz to it — but it is not deafening and conversation is easy without raising your voice.

I get that trendy 'bistros' wouldn't be caught dead with carpeting, but there are many other noise softening options: acoustic panels or fabric on the walls and ceilings is a good start. There are even light fixtures that incorporate acoustic materials as decorative elements. Designed properly, these acoustic treatments may not even be noticeable.

Similarly, live music does not belong in a dining room — it is for bars and cocktail lounges — unless it is unobtrusive background music.

Anticipation is high for the opening of the new restaurant in the old Maxine's space on Franklin and in the former Yacht Club — they will surely get my business if they offer good food, good service and good acoustics.

Lawrence Zimmer

Michigan City

 

Thanks for wayfinding signs

I would like to thank the Michigan City leadership, the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission, Global Engineering and all the dedicated people who helped bring the latest phase of wayfinding signs around the city to become reality. The new signage seems well planned and is already helping to circulate visitors who are now aware of the many great attractions within the entire city.

Tim Anderson

Shady Creek Winery

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