Peeve: "Could you turn down the music, please!"

I don’t mind a little background music in the dining room. I do mind when it competes with conversation and crosses the comfort line. “And while you are at it, could you turn down the TV volume, too?”. Sometimes both are going on simultaneously. What…is everyone tone deaf in here?
I must run into this several times a month. How do you handle it?

Sorry, I’m struggling to hear you. Are you asking about the band Peevish?

Or, on similar note. Why do sports bars show three different foot ball matches without commentary and also have loud music on?

Ha! No, just bringing up one of my ongoing pet peeves…

A few years ago in Manhattan my wife and I walked into to a practically empty Filipino restaurant, sat down, were given menus and a glass of water. When the waitress returned, I asked her if she could turn the music down. I was told in no uncertain terms that that would be impossible. They expressed deep contrition when we got up and walked out.

Drives me batty too. Add in the hard surfaces, close together tables and we have to practically shout at each other. We went to a local place recently that has very good food but is often quite loud and I was pleasantly surprised to find they invested a few thousand dollars in sound absorbing wall and ceiling fixtures. Was a nice change!

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It’s to get you in and out. That, plus uncomfortable chairs and too small tables.

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Places with loud music/overall loud scene tend to succeed on getting me out and usually not back in.

We went to a well respected restaurant in a neighbouring city a couple of years or so back. It was all hard surfaces and the noise was awful. We had to shout to enable the other one to hear across the table. Not at all our idea of fun and, whilst the food was good, we’ve never been back and don’t plan to.

(For the benefit of any northwesterners reading, I refer to Liverpool’s “60 Hope Street”)

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Look, it’s your house and you’re in charge. Just show the family who’s the boss.

My closest local is better than that. We have 3 or 4 screens of sport, plus one always showing old episodes of MASH and one showing the news - all with no volume (or sub-titles). And that is the public bar - in the sports bar its 3 or 4 screens showing horse racing.

Needless to say no one watches - yet they have just replaced all the screens with bigger ones.

And although the music isn’t loud they have literally got a screen in every sight line so you keep getting distracted by something you don’t really want to watch…

New nice cocktail bar and Mexican place in town - the first place with a little style. Lovely sunny Saturday so went along for an early evening drink.

The “duff duff” music was on full blast - asked if they could put something more appropriate to the time of day and weather. Was told no, its management policy.

Never been back…and music is my second passion after food.

Music is bad enough, but for all of July our favorite fishery was playing a Sirius XM advertisement: no music, just a constant advertisement. Luckily, I think their contract was for only a month, because when we went Sunday they had an actual music station on.

When restaurant/bar owners get so caught up in theories as to what will increase their profitability, theories that are antagonistic to the customer, I guess the only thing the customer can do is avoid their establishments.

I really really hate loud music in restaurants. Also not crazy about TVs showing random stuff. Today I read about a new restaurant opening here (in Marin County, CA).

“The almost 2,500-square-foot space, excluding the European-style patio, promises to be hang-out worthy. Think urban rustic with distressed brick walls, timber beams and unique hardwood tables, as well as rattan furnishings around fire pits in an outdoor beer and wine garden where a wide selection of local craft beers and a good/better/best portfolio of wines will be served. For entertainment, four floor-to-ceiling 85-inch screens will show GoPro videos of extreme pursuits, allowing you to travel the world and experience thrilling adventure vicariously.”

I’m not sure why, but the part about the GoPro videos “of extreme pursuits” just cracked me up. Guess it’s to create a mood? Who wants to watch extreme pursuits while they’re eating? Guess who is never going there?!

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I have always believe the loud music and loud TV serve two purposes. First, it makes the place appear to be more lively. Second, it provides some privacy, as you can barely hear what other people are saying. Kind of like white noise.

I think ultimately that different restaurants have different noise level, and they are supposed to draw a different crowd. A working-profession sport bar will likely have a lower music level than a college sport bar.

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Personally I don’t even like to go out to restaurants . Maybe for breakfast , or a occasional lunch . So when I go out for dinner . If I like the crowds and music and feel up for it I am heading there . If I want to relax without the noise . I know where to go . Pretty simple . It’s not a big deal for me . I have a choice . I rarely go out for the food , just want to be in the mix .

I would say that is pretty standard for most people - I choose my social venues on depending on mood. But I think the issue is when you was to eat in a restaurant because of its food reputation and you are going there to eat great food not hang out in scene etc.

Yet despite the food being superb the ambiance is sometimes ruined by the music. If the food can stand alone and attract people why do restauranteurs ruin it by offering loud or inappropriate music (even some very quiet music can get very very annoying, very very quickly).

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Yes, but when you are a tourist somewhere, even if you read reviews, you are often surprised by the noise levels in places you choose to try.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2