We heard you loud and clear!
We know our restaurant, Campo, can be a “lively” experience where noise levels sometimes made it difficult to have a dinner conversation. With your feedback, we made a significant investment in reducing the decibel levels at Campo. We contracted VAST Technologies, a local sound engineering company, that recorded decibel levels of the space, identified the biggest sources of increased sound levels, and proposed a variety of solutions for us to consider.
It may not surprise some of you that the biggest culprit in the scenario was our open kitchen with its three hoods over each line. The hood over the open wood fire is even louder as it requires more draw. After consulting some of our most frequent diners and inn guests, they felt strongly that the solution to close off the kitchen to patrons should be off the table. They love the experience - the live fire, the rhythm of the kitchen, the storytelling, the culinary techniques, and the full transparency of showcasing the ingredients we’re proud to use.
With that feedback, Stephen Baine of VAST designed a multiprong solution that included the installation of engineered acoustic panels throughout the restaurant. Covered in special fabrics like linen and tightly woven burlap, very few diners recognize them as acoustic paneling at all. The system not only prevents the noise from ricocheting around the room, but it actually absorbs sound by using engineered cones systems to capture sound.
Is it perfect? Well, no, but thanks to VAST it is much much better. We still encourage diners wanting a quieter experience to request the smaller Cellar Room, which recorded much lower decibel levels and has experienced almost no noise complaints. We learned there are big tradeoffs in trying to minimize sound, often at the expense of aesthetics, but other things as well. Wall-to-wall carpeting? No thanks. We prefer our salvaged hardwood floors not just because they are beautiful and tell a nice story, but they are sanitary. Carpeting, the BEST solution for minimizing sound, is truly unsanitary in a restaurant environment and requires strong chemicals - something we don’t use at Los Poblanos.
So, thank you again for you feedback and thank you even more for your support in helping us achieve our mission – to preserve the historic Los Poblanos Ranch by creating a dynamic business dedicated to hospitality, sustainability and our community. And thank you VAST for a job well done!