Whenever a place that I like closes for remodeling, I fear an outcome best expressed by the German word verschlimmbesserung. This magnificent pile of syllables means “an attempt to improve something that makes it worse,” and it makes clear that my concern is shared across the globe. The expression “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” expresses the same idea using only three more letters, but is less fun to say and also gets you fewer points in Scrabble.
This anxiety was why I observed the beginning of work at Darren’s with some trepidation. There were a few things that weren’t perfect, like the uncomfortable bench seating by the walls, and the place was looking a bit worn after eight years, but that didn’t seem to merit a complete overhaul. I was most concerned that they were removing the patio seating, since that was my favorite place to dine and people-watch on summer days.
The work was done quickly, and I have to admit that it was an improvement. The space was opened up to show off the beamed ceiling to create an ambiance not unlike a European farmhouse, an effect enhanced by the old tools displayed on the back wall. At first the new space had a problem with echoing sound, but some acoustic engineering has made it so that it’s one of the more sonically pleasant rooms in town. (Full Press Story)