Indaco Restaurant Noise Problem Solved after Acoustical Overhaul

The Indaco Restaurant noise problem was well-known among Charleston’s downtown diners. The exceptional restaurant had received both popular and critical acclaim since the eatery’s opening in 2013, including being named “best new restaurant by Modern Luxury magazine. While the restaurant’s stellar menu and hip vibe were drawing praise, it was also gaining a reputation for being a noisy space – the restaurant was in need of an acoustical overhaul.

One Yelp reviewer noted the problem in his review, “The noise level needs to be dealt with; I’m not hard of hearing, but I felt like I was yelling the whole time.” As time progressed, veteran restaurateur Steve Palmer decided to handle the problem head-on. Palmer called architect David Thompson who then contacted Performance Acoustics to handle the acoustical challenge.

Performance Acoustics’ team worked with David and Steve directly to tackle the restaurant’s noise problem. Indaco is house in a historic, pre-industrial brick building with wood floors, reflective wood tables and chairs and high ceilings. Undoubtedly the restaurant’s aesthetic is both stunning and sleek, but spaces like these have high reverberation times (or the time it takes for sound to absorb in a room).

“The reverb time at Indaco was 4 seconds, while optimal reverb time for conversations is half that,” said Scott Rhodes of Performance Acoustics.

Performance Acoustics went to work and designed a series of custom-painted acoustical panels that matched the restaurant’s existing walls and ceiling. Performance Acoustics installed the panels over a three-day period, working around the restaurant’s busy schedule. Owner Steve Palmer and his patrons noticed the results straight away –

“I’ve always loved the industrial look of Indaco. Now, it not only looks fabulous, but I can easily chat with others,” said Indaco patron, Kelly Bell.

Today, after the engagement with Performance Acoustics, the reverb time at Indaco is 1.5 seconds rather than 4. “I think our regulars are really pleased to be able to converse with more ease while sharing authentic Italian food and wine,” said Steve Palmer. “We’re all about community here at Indaco and now diners are enjoying their group dining experience even more – that’s a win.”

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