We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

If the fate of Barracks Row‘s now-defunct restaurants (Marty’s, Firehouse Cafe, Ellington’s on 8th) is any indication of what happens when new, shiny places invade (The Chesapeake Room, Cava, Zest Bistro) then the shops on Mt. Pleasant Street NW should be nervous. As the neighborhood’s main street welcomes tonier retailers, Flying Fish Coffee and Tea and Nana clothing boutique, to name a couple, what will become of the neighborhood pupuserias?

Ercilia’s, the corner Salvadoran spot (a favorite of several City Paper staffers), for one, is taking measures to be noticed. What was once a pale cream facade has suddenly been repainted an eye-catching burnt orange.

When asked if Ecrilia’s new paint job is due to the changing streetscape, Sonia Castellon, the owner’s daughter, says, “I know nothing about that.”

Castellon has a simpler explanation for the eatery’s glaring new look: “Because the paint was coming off,” she says.

Do you think Mt. Pleasant’s continuing retail renascence will force more old-school restaurants to upgrade their look and menu?

Photo by Stefanie Gans