La Parada opens its latest restaurant with a high output audio solution from Audac.

La Parada is a restaurant chain bringing the vibrancy of the Mediterranean to South Africa. Finished with sandy pastels and palm trees, the restaurant’s newest location is in Johannesburg’s day-to-night dining and shopping destination, Cedar Square. Competing with some of the busiest bars and clubs in the area, La Parada has positioned itself above the rest with a powerful audio system using technology from Audac and Xilica.

The project was a collaboration between AV Distribution and South African installation company Sonic AV. For Cedar Square, La Parada wanted a sound system that catered to DJs and bigger parties, offering something different to its predominantly dining-focused venues. “La Parada wanted to make the shift to a more music-orientated restaurant with this opening,” begins Richard Edwards, CEO of Sonic AV.

“They wanted more of a bar vibe with DJs so we knew that a solution from Audac would be an ideal fit, especially the XENO range which comprises high-powered loudspeakers for the hospitality industry. Sound quality was critical, but also at a price point that was sensible for the African market, so we had to get the balance right between quality and budget. The Audac models offer an excellent value proposition, they’re powerful but provide a nice blend between softer audio for background dining and the high sound pressure levels for DJ sessions required at La Parada.”

La Parada burst onto the scene in 2020, opening its first ever location on Bree Street, a bustling area of Cape Town that attracts global foodies year upon year. With a menu packed full of traditional tapas with a South African spin, the chain continued to grow, opening a mammoth 17 further restaurants across the country. Complete with La Parada’s signature mismatched chairs and rustic Spanish tiles, its new Cedar Square venue is hoping to position the restaurant in front of a new audience that favours after-dark dancing alongside Mediterranean dining.

The main bar and DJ area of La Parada Cedar Square features four Audac VEXO112 two-way passive loudspeakers that offer exceptional output and performance. Across the rest of the bar, including the mezzanines and outside areas, Sonic AV installed six XENO8 full range loudspeakers and six XENO6 models. “We chose these models because they’re compact but deliver great sound and high output. They also come with brackets which allowed us to angle them exactly where we wanted, which is critical for me when working on a project,” continues Edwards. Two Audac BASO15 compact subwoofers deliver smooth but punchy low end.

La Parada is divided into five zones; the main floor, two mezzanine areas and two outside areas. The entire space is wired in stereo and run through a Xilica Solaro audio processor for the staff to choose their inputs. There’s an input for background music, DSTV and the DJ, so Sonic AV also created a custom user interface for the team to run the entire restaurant off, including pre-sets for different times of day.

Additionally, an iPad runs the Xilica XTOUCH app so that the restaurant manager can easily control the sound in all areas of the venue.

“La Parada was a challenging acoustic space, so we also carried out some customised acoustic treatment,” says Edwards. “It’s a double volume restaurant with single volume mezzanines, which made it difficult for us to install the system and create an ambience that suited La Parada’s needs. If we hadn’t included any treatment, we wouldn’t have got the same quality outcome.

“Our consultants did a full model of the space before we began to figure out where the problematic frequencies were, as well as any reverb issues. We then based our solution on the model, which shortened the length of time we spent on the installation and improved the overall sound quality. The acoustic treatment made a huge difference, and there aren’t a huge number of companies with the skills to do it. It definitely sets us apart.”

La Parada’s latest opening sees the restaurant chain confidently enter a new era, offering diners its signature menu of Spanish-influenced small plates with a space to stay late and party. The new Audac solution is sleek yet powerful and has created a welcoming ambience for both day and night dining, echoed by feedback from punters since its opening.