The music was pumping Tuesday afternoon at Amali restaurant on the Upper East Side. But Wednesday night will be much quieter. As part of Hearing Health Turn Down the Volume Night, Amali and eight other restaurants in New York City will bring awareness to hearing health.
"When I go out with my friends I like to hear what I have to say," says James Malios, the owner of Amali. He says his restaurant offers a peaceful dining experience.
"If the restaurant is too loud and I have to constantly ask them to repeat themselves then I don't really have as good of a time," he added. That is why Malios is participating in Turn Down the Volume Night, for which several restaurants will lower music and limit noise for the evening to raise awareness of hearing health.
Andrea Boidman, the executive director of the Hearing Health Foundation, says turning down the music is the quickest fix.
"While it provides ambiance... when you get a whole room of people trying to speak over the music it could be really really loud," Boidman says. Awareness is important because 50 million Americans over the age of 12 have some hearing loss, he says.
Malios is so into the challenge, he says he is going a step further by putting sound-absorbing foam under his tables.
"The essence of communal dining is hearing what people at the table have to say to you," he says.
The restaurant challenge is only the beginning. The Hearing Health Foundation is also asking people to pledge to get their hearing tested this month.