On Saturday, I made it back into Cafe Aiello on Gorham Street for the first time since it re-opened in February. The thing I always loved most about Aiello -- the layout -- hasn't changed. It's still nice and spacious, with two separate *sections* and tons of elbow room for anyone looking to hang out, do some reading, work on the Internet (yes, still free Wi-Fi in there). It's got the comfy chairs over by the entrance on Gorham, it's got the long table for holding court in the other section, and it's even got the picture of Jonathan Papelbon's back from the newspaper clipping following the Red Sox sweep of the Rockies back in 2007 right at eye-level for anyone using the men's room.
The best change I quickly noticed was the hot deli sandwiches they're offering up at the counter (and I'll put in a hearty recommendation for the Roger Dodger here, it's got roast beef, melted cheese, some mayo and a bunch of other fixings, panini-style). There's a decent (and growing) selection of teas, coffee coming from a Seattle supplier (though I wouldn't know what that means, I'm trying to quit the bean), and a bunch of Elvis-themed sandwiches (Jif, bananas, and nutella for the daring).
What I could gather is that business has been steadily picking up day-by-day, probably just because word-of-mouth has tipped people off to the fact that they've reopened. Judging from the fact that someone in my building ardently tried to convince me that Cafe Aiello was not open after I mentioned I was heading there on Saturday (despite my protestations that no, I just popped my head in the other day and spoke to three baristas who were quite clear that it was), it seems that there is still more word to be spread.
One other note -- if you are an artist, or know any local artists, it's worth mentioning that the owners are looking for locally-produced work to hang on their walls. For any interested, I would recommend dropping in and asking about how to go forward getting your stuff displayed.