Whether you reside in Australia’s big cities or are simply planning a city break, knowing where to find the quiet corners can enhance the experience of socialising for those with hearing loss. Picking an establishment that is considerate to the requirements of your group can reduce stress in the lead up to the event and help those with hearing loss feel more reassured of a good night out. The following establishments in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane allow you the freedom to enjoy the tastes, sights and aromas offered by a quality dining venues without the inconvenience of excess background noise:
Pancake Manor – Brisbane
Situated in a Heritage-listed church in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD, The Pancake Manor has 35 years’ experience serving up delicious pancakes around the clock. The menu extends well beyond their namesake fare with a wide selection of meals and refreshments on offer. Whether you’re in the mood for sweet or savoury, snack or feast, morning or night they are there to satisfy your appetite and provide a convivial atmosphere for your outing.
As they are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, The Pancake Manor is a great place to socialise for the hard of hearing outside regular meal times. Try brunch during the week or an early dinner to make the most of this quiet corner in Queensland’s big smoke. No matter what time of day you choose to dine, the booth seating provides a figurative bubble for your group’s dialogue. The intimate setting means you can focus solely on the people you have arrived with and not be distracted by the rest of the restaurant.
Whiskey and Alement – Melbourne
Opened in 2010, this Melbourne destination is ideal for the whisky-curious and seasoned aficionados of the golden spirit. With over 1,000 whiskies on pour and a friendly staff on hand to share their knowledge, this "Whisky Bar and School of Whisky" is more like an interactive library of liquor than just another noisy establishment. Visitors can choose from a vast collection of international labels to find the one brand that suits their fancy, or the uninitiated can explain their palate preferences to a staff member who will then suggest just the right whisky to fit their personal tastes.
Whisky and Alement recently expanded their setting to include an intimate upstairs space – the Melbourne Whisky Room – the perfect place where hearing impaired guests and their friends can peacefully absorb the staff's knowledge while savouring their sipping choices. For an even more intimate experience, book out the zone for a private class or group tasting without having to compete for conversation with other patrons.
EZARD – Melbourne
For nearly 20 years, EZARD has thrived amid the downtown din of Melbourne's Central Business District. A subtle subterranean locale awaits you along the famed Flinders Lane. Chef Teage Ezard's highly touted 'Asian Freestyle' cuisine tempts guests with eight-course tasting experiences including vegan and vegetarian options. This respected restaurateur delivers some of the most revered flavours from Asia such as steamed scallop dumplings, Chinese-style duck breast, smoked tofu, Asian herb salad, miso and wasabi butter to name just a few.
This establishment specialises in catering to the pre-theatre and express-lunch crowd with expedient service while being especially attentive to hearing impaired guests who prefer quieter accommodations. Banquet corner tables offer intimate settings for patrons with hearing loss; a secluded corner of the restaurant provides a private dining option; and the sleekness of the entire of the space inspires a quieter demeanour from guests at almost all times. The staff remains sensitive to the needs of guests with hearing loss and are prepared to modify their candour and volume of speech to affect clear communication.
Grandma's Bar – Sydney
Grandma's Bar is a secret haven of retro kitsch located in a subterranean stronghold in Sydney's Central Business District. Leading away from the bustle and din of the city is a basement staircase taking guests on a journey through time, back to an era when genuinely friendly service and light-hearted fare were the order of the day. Grandma's provides a great social setting for anyone who is hearing impaired to enjoy quality time with family and friends.
With a capacity set for just 50 people, the staff suggests that folks who value a quiet experience choose a seat at the banquet, just to your right upon entering the venue. This offers an excellent perspective of the rest of the bar. Plan a midweek rendezvous for a quieter experience as you catch up over one of the house's signature tiki drinks.