UPDATED 8/6: Are Twin Cities restaurants too loud? We’re testing them—and you can help


This story, first published on June 7, has been updated over the course of several weeks. Scroll down to see the most recent update, featuring decibel readings from The Liffey and Patrick McGovern’s.

When Jeremy Kleider asked his parents to join him at Pat’s Tap in south Minneapolis, he wanted to share with them a place known for its great food, its great beer selection, and its hip atmosphere, which basically reinvented the neighborhood tavern.

What Kleider, 26, and his parents, in their mid-50s, didn’t expect when they arrived for dinner at around 6:30 p.m. was that the music would be so loud that they couldn’t hold a real conversation.

“The place was just so loud, it was really kind of impossible to have any kind of conversation,” said Kleider. “It was busy in there…everyone in there had to shout over the music.”

Kleider hasn’t been alone in this observation, as Daily Planet columnist Jeremy Iggers pointed out when he visited Morrissey’s Irish Pub, Red Cow, and Spill the Wine back in April.

“Am I just turning into a cranky geezer, or are restaurants getting louder? And if so, why?” wrote Iggers in his post, who then noted that of the three restaurants, Morrissey’s Irish Pub was the loudest.

So just how loud is too loud? When does a loud atmosphere go from fun and energetic to just plain loud? And does this vary depending on the time of day? The location? The purpose of your visit or the target demographic of the establishment?

Over the next month, I’ll be visiting different restaurants around the Twin Cities, measuring their decibel levels and talking to their employees and customers to try and answer some of these questions.

You can help, too.

Have you noticed these same trends? Do you have specific places you’d like to see tested? Email me at kristoffer@tcdailyplanet.net with your suggestions of which restaurants you’d like to see tested, and even during what times. Or, you can leave your suggestions in a comment below. (If you don’t see the Storify windows, please refresh your browser.)

Update: June 16

Update: July 1

Update: July 16

Update: August 6

Coverage of issues and events affecting Central Corridor communities is funded in part by a grant from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.