The Ordinary's restaurant noise reduced in a flash thanks to acoustics specialists, Performance Acoustics. Charleston's The Ordinary has achieved acclaim and landed on several “Best of” lists over the years. However, they also racked up noise complaints.
From the day the restaurant’s doors opened, The Ordinary started receiving noise complaints. These complaints ultimately tapered off, “people who don’t like loud restaurants stopped coming,” owner Mike Lata noted. As months passed, Lata knew he needed to do something, so he reached out to his architect, David Thompson, who then contacted Performance Acoustics to solve this acoustical issue.
Performance Acoustics’ team of problem-solvers consulted with David on The Ordinary as well as two other restaurants. The Ordinary presented a special set of problems for acoustical correction, since the simplest and cheapest solutions would have interfered with the look of the room.
“WE WERE TRYING TO PRESERVE THE AESTHETIC OF THE CEILING, BECAUSE THAT CORNICE IS PRETTY BEAUTIFUL AND DRAMATIC AND ORIGINAL,” NOTED LATA.
Performance Acoustics got to work and designed a series of custom-painted acoustical panels that matched the existing ceiling. The layout turned out to be one of the toughest parts of the project as there were lots of obstructions—can lights, fans, speakers and sprinklers. With the help of David Thompson, the team worked out a layout that fit the ceiling perfectly and looked great. Performance Acoustics installed the panels over a three-day period (working around the restaurant’s busy schedule). The result was noticeable right away. As The Post and Courier remarked in a write-up on the restaurant,
“IT SEEMS THAT THE ORDINARY HAS LICKED ITS LONG- STANDING NOISE PROBLEMS.”
The piece also referred to a survey of restaurant noise conducted by the paper that ranked The Ordinary as Charleston’s loudest dining room. At 90 DECIBELS on the exponential scale, the restaurant was as loud as a truck without a muffler.
After the installation, Lata measured the room at 75 DECIBELS, which is roughly equivalent to the whirr of a dishwasher. “I was blown away,” Lata said. “The problem has been completely taken care of.”