“Everything seems to be up in that area so we like to diffuse it because it could be a problem with plates, with the ambient noise, with people chatting and music playing at that frequency – it just becomes a mess,” Lake says. The end result, ideally, is a space where music can be played at high levels but diners can still enjoy their conversations.
The restaurant is divided into 12 acoustical zones that pipe sound into every part of the facility – there is nowhere throughout the entire space that isn’t penetrated by sound.
“There’s a lot to the layout and as a result there had to be a lot to the configuration of the sound system,” Bloostein says.
But the A/V setup doesn’t stop with the sound system. There are 16 sources for audio and video, and a live music space on the first floor is designed so that the performances can be filmed and the footage can be broadcast to the LG TVs throughout the restaurant – so, too, can the feed from TV crews that are likely to be on hand when Guy shows up to show off his cooking skills in the restaurant’s demonstration kitchen.
“I can’t think of any limitations,” Bloostein says of the overall A/V setup.
Because standing out in Times Square is no easy feat, Bloostein had a 10x17-foot D3 LED screen installed on the restaurant’s exterior that plays a loop of video clips and highlights from Guy’s television shows.
“The most important thing for me was to have Guy’s face viewable, as a beacon, from Broadway,” Bloostein says. Along the same lines, facing outward from inside the restaurant’s front window are two 44-inch TVs stacked on top of each other that operate as menu boards while simultaneously playing more highlights of Guy from television and simultaneously piping out the sound of his distinctive voice.
There are even small monitors in all of the bathrooms that play a mixture of current and classic cooking shows.
“So we play Julia Child in all the bathrooms when we’re not playing the Food Network,” Bloostein says.
In the restaurant business, the installation of A/V equipment is a ritualized fire drill that is done in the final frantic days before a restaurant opens its doors, says Bloostein – and the same was true here.
“It was good, it just always concerns me,” Bloostein says of that standardized fire drill “The A/V guys always come in toward the end. I’m always concerned [about] the testing and the controls.”
Fittingly for a restaurant that places such a premium on sound quality, much of the control system is visible to diners in a caged closet near the host stand.
“People can see all the little lights and stuff, electronics stuff, and it’s cool,” Bloostein says.
As the grand opening approaches, the co-owner says he couldn’t be happier with how the top-notch A/V setup has performed.
“We’re still ramping up and learning about exactly what the capabilities are,” Bloostein says, “but you can do just about anything on it.”