Had to talk via text because the restaurant was so loud

It was so loud that I could not hear the person sitting across the table from me. I had to point to the menu to order because I couldn’t speak loud enough to be heard. I’m sure the space was designed to create a lively atmosphere, but I think they went too far. The music, and people trying to talk over the music, created an almost deafening experience.

The restaurant was Uncle Julio’s in Reston VA

Is this a trend? Have you experienced anything like this?

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I’ve encountered this, especially in Manhattan. I avoid places with loud music and “lively” atmospheres as I don’t find them conducive to enjoying a meal.

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That’s not my type of atmosphere so I would have turned and walked out.

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There is a popular restaurant that just moved from my neighborhood to a larger space. The acoustics were horrible but the food was very good. I stayed away on weekends for that reason.

yes - Bresca in DC.
impossible to converse, impossible to hear the waitstaff. it’s a college age dive bar.

had other business in the area, looked up ‘fine dining’ - Bresca had a one star Michelin rating.
what a disaster. and, it is still one their most recent one star list.
totally destroyed my confidence in Michelin ratings.

I agree, Usually I would do the same thing and walk out.
One popular spot turns up the music for the after work crowd.
We were already eating when this happened so we finished our meals and left.
You could not have a conversation even when yelling.
The restaurant lost dessert money and after dinner drink money.
Just thinking of how times have changed.
We were always told that it was rude to whisper yet texting accross the table completely acceptable.


I met a buddy at a place for late afternoon cocktails and dinner. Shortly after we ordered the band (out of view) struck up. It was a nightmare and we were stuck.

I met some people for lunch and the bartender had the music so loud we couldn’t talk so we asked them to turn it down. They did. I don’t understand why music must be so loud.

@NOVA_Nate Were you there yesterday? If so, maybe it was just a Cinco de Mayo born issue. If not, I would have left.

I can only remember once when we couldn’t speak to each other at our table. It was due to being in a room with a large party that was loud, drunk, and rude. When I asked our server to move us to another area they said it was not possible, so we left.

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Yes, it was yesterday so you could be right that it wasn’t a regular day. But as much as I liked the barbacoa fajitas I think we’ll pick someplace else next time.

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My tolerance is usually pretty high, but there’s a Caribbean place in my neighborhood I really want to go to. Except they have a DJ playing dancehall at a high volume. Even at 6pm when there’s, like, 5 diners in there. I keep trying but I’ve never made it to a table.

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I hate noisy restaurants. I think they do that to turn the tables over faster. They want customers in and out quickly.


A friend and I went to Medium Rare in Arlington VA a couple years back and the music was WAY loud. So everyone was yelling to be heard over the sun, making it worse. We complained to our waitress and our gesturing clued several tables in that we were complaining about the noise, so several other tables sent someone to complain as well. The poor waitress said “ My manager says to keep the music at this level!”
We remonstrated a bit, and of course we had to shout to do so, which was rude but it was incredibly annoying.
She folded and the music went down by half and it was SO MUCH more pleasant. Half the tables called out congratulations to each other and we restarted our conversation at a civilized level.
5 minutes later the manager turned the music back up. Everyone was glowering at the back of the house.
I have never been back.

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There used to be a popular - and good - red sauce Italian sit-down restaurant next town over. The place was packed for lunch AND dinner, and tile floors made for impossible acoustics. I quickly learned, if eating there with companions, to go between 2 and 5 p.m.

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We were sitting on a practically empty patio just around 3:30 pm.
The music was so loud only 1 other couple on the patio to our party of 4.
I asked for the music to be turned down so that we could enjoy some convesation without the other couple hearing ours and visa versa.
It was turned down precisely till 3:55 pm.
Then returned to the obnoxious level because the establishment wanted to entice the after work crowd.
My guess is who tend to text across the table instead of conversing.


I have to say that I really loathe places that are so loud you cant talk with those you are dining with. It just ruins the whole experience. I am at an age where normal sensorineural hearing loss is beginning to be a problem…and the frequencies most affected are in the spoken voice range. Add to that a raucous, poor acoustics restaurant, and a meal time conversation is near impossible. I simply dont go to those places a second time.


Yes I would have immediately left,can’t spend hard earned money in a place like that !!

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Did the restaurant have the popular (for some ungawdly reason) “open ceiling” thing going on? Where you can see the HVAC piping etc.?

Those places seem to be the worst for getting the ambient sound really bouncing around, and if the place is full it can become deafening.

The music too loud seems to be another frequent issue. Just as you say, at a certain volume level people really start projecting to be heard, and it just makes it worse. I’ve stopped going to one of my favorite Persian places because of this.

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There’s a really good, upscale Latin American restaurant in my downtown that’s in one of those huge spaces with the open ceiling. It was ungodly loud when it housed its previous tenant (an upscale Southern/soul food restaurant) and it’s ungodly loud now. It’s not so much a loud music thing–it’s just that when it’s full and lively, the acoustics are so bad that the sound from all of the loud conversations bounces everywhere.


Cinco de Mayo is the largest bar revenue of the year for Mexican restaurants in the US. I’m glad @ScottinPollock reminded you. Not cool to disparage them for creating a party atmosphere on that one day. Give them another chance on any other day of the year and report back.

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