1. Denny's is doomed.
2. This made me think of my favorite tavern in Olympia, The Brotherhood. All of my four readers have heard me drunkenly wax nostalgic about The Brotherhood in person (and two of you remember the bar itself), so I'll keep this short.
The Brotherhood was a beautiful place. The bar was carpeted in diverse shag remnants; there were nicotine-stained posters of naked ladies sitting on hay bales and other great art, including a giant bottle neck mounted on the wall like a taxedermied animal head. The Brotherhood had all the elements of a great dive: it was mostly populated by sad old men, it smelled horrible, the bartender had seen better days, the jukebox was heavy on the Hank Williams Jr. side of things, and you could win cases of Niblets canned corn by playing pull tabs. (To prove The Brotherhood's greatness, I will iterate that I have never found another dive that meets that last qualification.) For athletic types, there was also shuffleboard and free pool on an abomination of a table.
To make a long story short, The Brotherhood became inundated with college kids and hipsters. I still loved it, but it became so popular that the owners sold it. The new owners transformed the place. They knocked out the low asbestos ceilings, painted the walls deep red, and hung up kitschy velvet paintings and other ironic trappings.
There is nothing wrong with the bar that stands in The Brotherhood's place. It's a nice enough place to drink, and they even hired Buck, one of the original bar's bartenders. Buck is fine with the transformation because he makes better tips. But in my estimation, the place has no real glory. And it bothers me, personally, that they left the sign up. The bar that stands there isn't The Brotherhood, and shouldn't be called The Brotherhood. I don't see why anyone would find that sort of gesture a comfort.