Oliveto Restaurant and Cafe, the innovative, Italian-inspired dining destination in the heart of Rockridge in Oakland, unveils a new look – and sound – this week. Addressing the industry-wide issue of noise pollution in restaurants, Oliveto has found the perfect balance in its new partnership with Berkeley's pioneering Meyer Sound, installing a state-of-the-art acoustic solution in addition to making enticing aesthetic changes as part of the restaurant's first major renovation in 18 years. At the same time, the Meyer Sound system allows the restaurant to advance on its soon-to-launch Oliveto Commons, an ongoing series of classes, panel discussions and workshops focused on food policy issues, producers, cooking techniques, and wine and spirits.
Led by owners and founders Bob and Maggie Klein, Oliveto's renovation speaks to the 28-year-old restaurant's deeply ingrained curiosity and drive for continual innovation and improvement. Oliveto's commitment to the local community, environmental stewardship, and sustainability parallels their commitment to providing everything necessary for a profoundly gratifying customer experience, making the partnership with Meyer Sound a logical next step.
"We think it's a good time to step out of the crowd of the current restaurant scene," said Bob Klein. "When we decided to make sound management a top priority in our renovation, we wanted to go with this extraordinary company that thought deeply about a problem, took no short cuts, and is truly innovative."
Known for creating impeccable listening environments, from Cirque du Soleil to UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall, Meyer Sound has tailored its groundbreaking Constellation and Libra systems for Oliveto — the second restaurant to employ this unique acoustic management technology — to seamlessly transform the dining experience.
Employing visually striking Libra acoustic panels, as well as patented algorithms, microphones, and small loudspeakers distributed throughout the upstairs dining room, the Meyer Sound system shapes the sonic ambiance of the space to ensure consistently comfortable conversations. With the touch of an iPad screen, restaurant staff can choose the optimal aural properties for the time of day, type of event, and occupancy. Guests on any side of a table – large or small – can be heard clearly and without interruptions or distractions from background noise or voices from other tables. With Libra and Constellation working seamlessly together, Oliveto has created a truly multi-sensory experience that sets the perfect tone for conversation and connection, while maintaining the all-important buzz of an exciting, busy restaurant.
Deborah O'Grady's mural-sized, high-resolution photographs of olive and oak trees (which are printed on the large absorptive Libra acoustic panels) are the cornerstones of Maggie Klein's interior renovation. Additional enhancements include a mixture of modern elements and the natural world, with deep grey walls that fall into the visual background; dramatically lit, large native California tree branches; a new bar crafted from orchard walnut trees; new carpeting and chairs, and artwork from Pt. Reyes painter Susan Hall.