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Your views: on shouty cafes and restaurants, fuel loads and bushfire

Reader contributions

Today, readers continue venting about noisy eateries, and comment on the fuel loads debate sparked by the ongoing bushfire crisis.

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Commenting on the story: Adelaide’s plague of shouty cafes and restaurants

Rainer Jozeps isn’t alone.  A group of us like to eat out regularly – but we do actually like to talk to each other while we eat.  

Our choice of restaurants are becoming more limited all the time, as we have made this one of our first considerations.

Thanks for bringing this to public attention! – Lorna McIntyre

Oh, yes! Shouty cafes (and restaurants and hotels) are the bane of my social life.

I can understand not wanting to carpet because of cleaning issues, but could we please have other sound attenuation measures become the new norm?

I’d rather see acoustic tiling and be able to hear the person next to me without straining, than have arty nouveau exposed pipes and brickwork design.

Maybe though, we are all going to just text each other through a coffee catch-up, lunch or dinner that we’re all attending simultaneously? Nicola Stratford

Mr Jozeps is right. Four friends and I recently fled an intolerably loud meal in a smart new venue in North Adelaide.

We were keen to try a promising menu in a re-opened and attractively redecorated eatery.

But we soon fled from the excruciating noise and close proximity to loud diners next to us to find desserts elsewhere.

Dining was so uncomfortable I can’t recall my main course.

Our six neighbouring diners were so close that my back was frequently dug into by one of their elbows.

No alternative table was any better despite asking staff.  

We won’t return. They have lost five interested locals. Lucy Macdonald

I 100% agree with Rainer’s article about noisy restaurants. 

I dine out frequently with a MeetUp group and am astonished with the acoustics in many venues. It’s all about polished floorboards/tiles/no curtains. 

Give me a 70’s style hotel dining room with carpets and drapes any day. At least you can hear your dinner companions. 

Or maybe it’s just an age thing, I’m finding it much harder to hear these days. 

But some diners have no clue, we don’t really need to know each intricate detail of every discussion they’ve ever had with someone. – Andrea Mirra

Totally agree. A tip for eateries in Adelaide – there are lots of cashed-up baby boomers who want to eat out but can’t hear as well as they used to.

Turn the music down or off. Olive Read

Agree with Rainer Jozeps – too many venues too noisy for words.

Shining example of what works: the Exeter on Rundle Street.

A conversational hub for folk who want to talk, drink and eat without being hammered by dangerously loud background “entertainment”.

We vote with our feet, so not too many must mind the cacophony. Robbie Brechin

It’s not just Adelaide, of course, that has been afflicted with all the hard surfaces in eating establishments that reflect and amplify sounds — we live part-time in the States and the plague you write of is very definitely there, too.  

My American friends and I have cursed the trend for years.

My hearing is not what it used to be and it is difficult to locate a restaurant or cafe where we can meet with other couples and enjoy a relaxing meal and conservation that I can participate fully in, to the degree that we sometimes avoid going out and prefer to stay at home where we don’t have to strain to talk.

We look for a place that is not crowded, which is often self-defeating because those places are the ones that lack something, either food quality or service, that we are seeking in the first place.

It is not just eating and drinking establishments, either: fitness centres here in Australia are notorious for having high-decibel music blaring even though almost every person has headphones and would prefer to listen to music they bring rather than what the gym management imposes.

It’s the same in Latin America.  I quit my membership at a gym here in Adelaide specifically for that reason – the horribly loud teenager music that the staff played. Kelly Wright

My brief comment is that I do agree with Rainer, however I wonder if it is an age related issue.

I am retired and love the café scene, perhaps not so much the bar scene. However I have noticed amongst my baby boomer friends that some of us find the noise levels difficult to contend with.

Did we complain about noise when we were younger? Not as I recall.

Maybe some research on this would be interesting. Is it noise intolerance or something else? – Fran Whittingham

The cause is well known – hard surfaces reflecting too much sound.

The solution is cheap and easy – fix acoustic panels to the walls.

That should go a long way towards solving the problem. Further noise reduction can be achieved by carpet, curtains, upholstered seats, tablecloths, soft ceiling material etc. – Tim Simpson

Just want to say we have endured many a noisy restaurant, so it was such a pleasure to enjoy a meal with friends at Apotek in Hindley Street.

 The food was excellent, decor inviting, service excellent but most of all it was quiet and we could converse across the table.  We recommend Apotek! Barbara Hopwood

Commenting on the story: Liberal MP says fuel load not climate change driving bushfires

The definitive response to MP Craig Kelly’s erroneous claim comes from former Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins: 

“Warmer, drier conditions with higher fire danger are preventing agencies from conducting as much hazard reduction burning – it is often either too wet, or too dry and windy to burn safely. Blaming “greenies” for stopping these important measures is a familiar, populist, but basically untrue claim.” – Carol Faulkner

Setting up a bigger disaster fund will make some people feel good but will not reduce the risk of disasters on the scale we have experienced this week

Thirty years ago governments introduced legislation to prevent/restrict landowners/managers from burning or grazing as it was claimed this was ‘clearing’ – we are now seeing the consequences of this action.

It is time to return to what our indigenous brothers had practiced  for generations

We need as land managers (farmers, local gov., forestry, parks) to be able to burn vegetated areas over a ten to twenty year rotation, so that  we create fuel-reduced areas that break the continuous wicks of high fuel loads in water courses and roadsides.

This creates areas of regeneration of different ages that then provide safe havens and food banks for birds, animals and the smaller species such as insects, reptiles, spiders etc.

It is time for policies that protect the environment as well as the humans living in it. Disasters caused by fires of the magnitude experienced in Australia in the last weeks and months are preventable.

Use fire to protect not to destroy, then disaster funds are available for times of flood, earthquake. – Peter K Davis

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