Early buzz about Union Provisions, King Street's newest small plates restaurant, has been muted. But noise levels are plenty high in the dining room, which is now being retrofitted in response to complaints.
"People have noted it's a bit loud," general manager Trevor Stephens says. " We're installing professional-grade soundproofing that we think will remedy all of issues."
According to Stephens, the restaurant's team was aware that the room's high ceilings and exposed brick walls would result in elevated decibel levels, but they didn't realize how loud the restaurant would get - or how much patrons would care.
"The concept was lively, so we didn't mind," Stephens says. "We just want to make sure it's not a nuisance."
Since its July 16 opening, Union Provisions has collected five Yelp reviews. Only one of them references the noise: "Atmosphere was nice but LOUD," Alexandra R. noted on Aug. 4.
Stephens describes the solution as aesthetically unobtrusive. The soundproofing is being installed after hours, so the restaurant can maintain its daily 5 p.m.-2 a.m. schedule.
In a recent Post & Courier story about the problem of loud restaurants, Fred Neuville and Ken Vedrinski recounted their many attempts to quiet down their dining rooms. But Stephens is fairly certain that the first stage of a mapped-out three-stage process will prove sufficient.
"The architects are pretty confident, but we'll do what's needed," he says. "Time will tell."