With all the Sturm und Drang about the newly refurbished, "upscaled" Polonia, I had to check it out for myself. Well, it seems the agita has been for nothing. It's basically the same old Polonia it's always been, but with a bit of gild on the lily.
The new owner's idea of upscale is so far just like what happened at Teresa's years ago, when it went from grungy Polish coffee shop to shiny Polish coffee shop. So now there's bossa nova music playing instead of Z100 and ciabatta appears on the menu. The plates are square instead of round and they've added sprinkles of dill to the $3 french fries.
Bottom line: There's still a homey feeling here that has little to do with the hyper-gentrification that is washing over the neighborhood.
At the new Polonia, the same lady in a hairnet (mom?) is scraping the grill and mixing up batches of her delicious Polish chicken noodle soup. The prices might be higher than they used to be, but they remain low; in some cases, below Manhattan coffee shop prices. When I was there, a homeless man was drinking coffee next to a table full of old-timers enjoying pierogis next to some kids canoodling over chocolate cake.
This isn't ever going to be DBGB, and all the better for it.