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Midtown Restaurant 'Ocean Prime' Designed With Volume In Mind

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- Restaurants have become noisy places. To establish a new look, some places have also dialed up the volume.

But, as CBS2's Elise Finch reported, some restaurants have designed new spaces to bring down the noise.

At many restaurants entrees are dished out with a side of decibels. Open kitchens, hard surfaces, and close quarters have created a lively atmosphere, but it can also be hard to have a conversation.

Earlier this year, CBS New found that some restaurants can reach decibel levels similar to city traffic or even a jackhammer.

But, at Ocean Prime on West 52nd Street, General Manager Zach Montgomery is dialing down the noise.

"We want our restaurant to be alive and energetic, but at the same time you and I can sit here and have a conversation," he said.

Ocean Prime built the new restaurant with sound in mind.

"It's not the loudness that's the problem, it's actually the echos and reverberations," Greg Merkel, ICRAVE Design said.

They brought in Greg Merkel who put stretched vinyl in the ceiling to absorb sound. A glass wall allows the kitchen to be seen and not heard, carpet on the floors and padding on the walls also keep conversation quiet.

"You can see it's soft. It absorbs the sound," Merkel said.

Merkel said a lot of restaurants are making similar changes to adjust the acoustics. Some even put padding under tables to suck in sound.

"Our clients are cognizant of it," he said.

Restaurants like Ocean Prime still use music to give their venues a lively feel, but the design allows customers to dine without the din.



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