Interview: Why the owner of a popular steakhouse in Ann Arbor chooses not to play background music

We spoke with Don Knight, owner of Knight’s Steakhouse in Ann Arbor, about why he chooses not to play background music.

Q: What’s your reason for not playing recorded music in your wildly popular restaurant?

A: It was a decision made by my father.  He wanted people to be able to have conversations over dinner without competing music playing.

Q: What’s your own opinion about “piped” music in restaurants?  

A: It drives me and my wife crazy!  We will never have it here in the Dexter Rd. restaurant or in Jackson.  I was outvoted for the downtown Knight’s. I have a regular customer, Bill Bolcom, who you may have heard of?

Q: Certainly, he’s a famous composer!

A: He eats here all the time, and has said, “I don’t expect people to eat meals at my concerts, and don’t want music playing in restaurants where I eat.”

Train Horn Noise

In response to the concerns raised by the community about the train horn noise, The City of Ann Arbor has released a comprehensive study called the Quiet Zone Assessment (pdf / website). This assessment explores possible options to improve the impact of train horn noise at multiple at-grade highway rail-crossings throughout the city.

The City is looking for your input. If you have been impacted by train horn noise and have opinions about the possible options after reviewing the assessment, please fill out this 5-min survey (link). The survey will close on February 28 at 5 p.m.