Minneapolis—Founded in 1997, Pepe Giallo is a New York restaurant with simple authentic Italian food. In 2016, Pepe Giallo needed to move to a new location because their building was going to be demolished. The new space, just blocks away from the original location, was formerly an artist bookstore that required a build-out to remodel the space into a modernrestaurant.
When Pepe Giallo reopened in 2017, the restaurant’s main dining room became very busy with returning patrons and new customers. It was immediately obvious that there was a noise problem. To address the issue, Pepe Giallo’s owner, Anna Da Silva, was connected through a mutual friend to Nate Fletcher, an acoustical consultant with AKRF, Inc. in New York. Fletcher recommended lightweight, WILLTEC® direct-apply, glue-up panels from pinta acoustic. The panels diminish unpleasant noise levels and increase speech intelligibility between customers and restaurant staff—enhancing Pepe Giallo’s sound comfort and dining experience.
The new building location’s space had an old New York feel that Da Silva wanted to preserve and upgrade to a more modern style. Because it previously functioned as an artist bookstore, significant renovations had to be made to accommodate a professional kitchen and open dining area. Da Silva had a concept for the interior and designed the space herself. She integrated Portuguese tile and painted exposed brick on the opposing wall. Moreover, the dining space has large windows, a glass door, an exposed ceiling and wood floors. These hard surfaces reflect sound energy, which builds up as more people begin to meet and speak louder making simple conversations difficult, especially for customers that have difficulty hearing in environments with high background noise levels.
“Some of our customers had to leave because it was too noisy. Even the staff was commenting that the restaurant was uncomfortably loud,” explains Da Silva. “I did not want square, ugly acoustic panels. And I was concerned that it would be expensive to fix the noise problem.”
The consultation with Fletcher included a noise measurement and a discussion about the acoustic, aesthetic and budgetary goals for Pepe Giallo. AKRF specified pinta acoustic’s highly sound-absorptive WILLTEC expanded melamine foam panels. Fletcher had recommended the lightweight, direct-apply, glue-up panel product before and felt it was a good option for the restaurant. After providing location, coverage, noise reduction coefficient rating and a product suggestion, Fletcher connected the restaurant with architectural acoustic products and projects manager, Anthony Antonelli from pinta acoustic, inc.
“Tailored to harmonize with virtually any interior, WILLTEC is excellent for fit-out applications like Pepe Giallo,” says Fletcher. “In addition to having exceptional acoustical properties, it is affordable and easy to manipulate in the field for cutting around sprinkler heads and other mechanicals.”
One of the panel design options Antonelli produced was a first-of-its-kind triple overlapping elliptical panel shape to complement the restaurant’s interior scheme. The acoustic treatment package included seven 4 by 5.5-foot (1219 by 1676 mm), 2 inch (51 mm)-thick WILLTEC custom elliptical shape panels, plus one smaller 2 by 4-foot (610 by 1219) panel. As detailed, these ceiling panels were produced with 30-degree bevel edges and deep v-joint grooves—finished with a specially developed water-based, ivory-color acoustic coating. Approximately 40 percent of the originally sound reflective main dining room’s painted ceiling was covered with pinta sound-absorptive panels. The contractor who completed Pepe Giallo’s renovation, Luigi Festinante, owner of F. Creative Corporation, along with Anthony and Evo Antonelli completed the direct-apply, glue-up acoustic ceiling installation together. To help facilitate a quick, productive installation onsite, pinta’s production factory back-cut a centered groove behind the overlapping, elliptical-shape panels. That allowed easy panel placement over existing conduit runs, set between suspended pendant lights on the ceiling. These lightweight, custom panel shapes were adhered with pinta’s acouSTIC™ PA-03 neutral-cure silicone adhesive, and the installation was completed in just two and a half hours.
“Small restaurants don’t consider hiring an acoustic consultant,” explains Fletcher. “For a minimal cost, we can provide an acoustic treatment recommendation based on the space requirements and desired goals of the owner. Acoustic design needs to suit the particular space—not all restaurants want a bustling feel. For many, creating an acoustical separation from the back of the house and the dining area is essential. Most restaurants want their diners to enjoy the conversations they share and communicate their food orders clearly to servers.”
Excessively loud noise is often the most common complaint from restaurant customers. Even if food and service are excellent, erratic sound levels can keep customers from returning to a restaurant or recommending it to someone else. Brought in as part of the design team during a renovation, an acoustical consultant can work with the architect and interior designer to recommend aesthetically pleasing and effective acoustical treatments.
“We have a few architects who regularly dine at Pepe Giallo,” says Da Silva. “After WILLTEC was installed, they complimented the look and results of the acoustic panels.”
WILLTEC Flat Sheet smooth-surface direct-apply wall and ceiling panels provide superior sound absorption and limitless design possibilities at an economical cost. ASTM E84 Class A, CAN/ULC-S102 fire-rated, natural grey or white WILLTEC Flat Sheets can be produced in a variety of panel shapes, sizes or thicknesses with square or bevel edge options and color coated in a variety of standard, premium and custom water-based finishes. WILLTEC Flat Sheet panels adhere to most substrates using pinta’s PA-02 water- or PA-03 silicone-based acouSTIC adhesives. If necessary, panels can easily be cut to fit onsite. Edge sealant is also available.
Pepe Giallo is a New York icon known for simple authentic Italian food without pretense. It is a lunch and dinner retreat with a laid-back atmosphere and a diverse menu of delicious dishes, including fettuccine norcina sausage, rigatoni with roasted eggplant and grilled shrimp salad with white beans and hearts of palm. www.pepegiallo.com
AKRF, Inc. is a leading environmental, planning and engineering consulting firm. The company's integrated approach draws on a wide range of technical specialties to develop real-world solutions for complex and time-sensitive projects. AKRF combines the breadth and resources of larger firms with the specialized know-how and attentiveness offered by smaller companies. AKRF is a single source to meet regulatory, engineering, acoustic, vibration and planning needs.
F. Creative Corporation
F. Creative Corporation provides interior design and construction services. The company also creates artistic and commercial scenery and models, sculptures, booths and scenic displays for television and theater, as well as the staging of bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
pinta acoustic, inc.
pinta acoustic, inc. manufactures a broad range of attractive direct-apply, glue-up ceiling and wall panels, suspended lay-in grid panels, suspended baffles and clouds for residential, commercial and industrial applications. pinta acoustic’s product line includes WHISPERWAVE™, PHONSTOP™, CONTOUR®, HARMONI, WHITELINE®, SQUARELINE®, WILLTEC® Flat Sheets, SONEX® Classic, SONEX Valueline, SONEX One, SONEX Mini, SONEX AFS, SONEX Linear Absorbers, SONEX PLANO Absorbers, SONEX Rondo, SONEX Clean, PROSPEC® Barrier Foam and Composite Materials, and acouSTIC™ adhesives.
Editor’s note: pinta acoustic, inc. prefers lowercase spelling of its entire name.