I’ve opened more restaurants than I care to admit. Some on my own and others as the debut chef. And now, Alison two.
It’s always two steps forward and a step backwards. We decided to carpet the bar instead of using hardwood floors. It’s a little unusual but we thought it would absorb some of the noise. We want the restaurant to have a buzz – but the noise level shouldn’t be uncomfortable. We want a place that’s comfortable to hang out.
It turns out that a new employee’s sister is the foremost acoustic expert in the area. What luck! She wrote me an email explaining that carpet helps with low and high frequencies but it can also make a room boomy. Okay, so if that’s not the answer, what is? She sent me links to information about acoustical materials.
So here’s my idea for the acoustic materials. What if we can put them on the ceiling instead of the floor? We have to build soffits in the ceiling to house electrical wiring (it’s a fire code issue – don’t ask). So now I’m wondering if we can use some of those acoustic materials (instead of drywall) to make the soffits. I just spoke to my general contractor about it and he’s checking it out. Those soffits, by the way, are like lemons that we’re making into lemonade. Since we have to have them, we’re making them design elements and figuring out how to use them to actually enhance the lighting. Instead of shining straight down from can lights, the lights will bounce off the soffits — creating a glow.
So, if the acoustic material can go on the ceiling — instead of the floor — then we don’t need carpet and can consider going back to hardwood floors. I asked Bob Himmelreich, our flooring specialist from Pro-Tech Floors for quotes both ways. As I said, two steps forward and a step back.
It’s enough to drive you to drink. Fortunately, a beer dinner is on tap at Alison at Blue Bell on Monday. Tom Kehoe, Brewmaster from Yards Brewing Company, will be joining us for a special 4-course beer dinner. Should be fun. More fun than doing the two-step over carpeting or hardwood or carpeting or hardwood or carpeting…