A recent study found that when a bar or club environment is noisier, people drink more alcohol. The research suggests that when people can't socialize, they feel more awkward and drink more.
This seems to explain why so many bar environments are so loud. Ugh. There are so many perfectly good bars with lovely furnishings, tasty drinks and optimal lighting...and then everything gets covered with a blanket of pop.
This all said, I like quieter bars and restaurants.