WARNING – This might just be a grumpy old man post.
As the son of a woman who has hearing difficulties, the spouse of a professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) who deals with an autoimmune issue that affects her vocal chords, and the father of one SLP and one CSD student very loud restaurants bother me.
Pam and I enjoy eating out. We do it more than some people we know and less that others. I suspect we are eating out on average one meal together per week. Our tastes vary from local Asian inspired food (I’m looking at you Samoeun’s Happy Wok) to higher end restaurants in our area (thinking of Christian’s Bistro here). Tonight while visiting Adam in Minneapolis we ate at Revival, a higher end chicken and waffles place. Like so many of the higher end places now it was going for an industrial look with hard surfaces and sharp angles. I know it is the style. I know the look is a part of the resturant. Still those angles and surfaces make it difficult to talk in those places.
That’s where my grumpiness comes in. The acoustics in places like this stink. I love the food at Christian’s Bistro or Father Fats in the Point area but they suffer from the same situation. The surfaces and angles make it loud and the sound muddled. This becomes difficult for people with hearing issues (i.e. my mom), people with speech issues (i.e. Pamela), and frustrating for those who love people with hearing and speech issues (i.e. me). The sounds bounces all over the place. I’ll stop complaining now, but I do wish that many of these hipper restaurants had better acoustics for conversations.
SIDE NOTE – the chicken and waffles at Revival were EXCELLENT. The shrimp and grits were meh. Pam’s shrimp and grits and better than any I have ever had at a restaurant. There was a batch that I had at a hotel in New Orleans during the weekend of my D.Min graduation from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary that was the best I have ever had and it was just a treat that the hotel was freely giving out to its guest. Mhmmmm. I still dream about that small bowl of shrimp and grits.