They say some things never change, and until this summer, Elsie's, that venerable Mount Auburn Street dive, could have been used as proof. But gone are the seedy, chipped, dirty white formica countertops and hospital green walls. Gone too, apparently, are the long lines and lack of seating space.
In a word, that distinctive Elsie's atmosphere has disappeared, replaced by hanging plants and hardwood polished counters and tables. Stained wood paneling (imitation) and shimmering brown and silver wallpaper cover the walls. As one patron said, "Call it disco Elsie's."
Restaurant manager Joe Gately said the action was "long overdue," adding that this summer's remodeling was the first in Elsie's quarter-century of business. Gately said the work could not have been delayed any longer, because the old equipment had "just worn out."
A random sampling indicated Elsies' clientele was adjusting well to the change. Cambridge resident Eugene Kwasniewski noted the loss of atmosphere, but remained hopeful. "Give it time," he said "With a few ketchup stains on the walls..." Kwasniewski added, "As long as the food keeps getting out here, I'll be happy."
Emily Culpepper '82 had a typical reaction. "It doesn't look like Elsie's anymore," she said. "That's the problem."