To be sure, the new owner is not an evil person. She is well liked by patrons. And her casual restaurant serves good versions of regional American fare, like panfried Southern chicken, genuine Texas nachos, and San Francisco’s famed seafood stew, known as cioppino. But her eatery, it must be said, borders on cute. With hanging paper lamp shades and colorfully striped chairs, it is a set piece out of the mod ’60s. Self-­consciously retro, her eatery is a contrivance of everything the burger joint is naturally.

Her menu includes mini-burgers.

Longtime patrons of the old-timey joint fear the worst. They say they’ve heard the new owner will replace the real burgers with mini-burgers. But a great hue and cry has gone up, and a waitress tells me that the new owner has indicated she may back away from the cute stuff and keep things real.

Maybe, then, the rumor of the real burger’s­ demise is exaggerated. Maybe they will be kept on the menu, after all. At this writing, the changeover is not complete, and it is too soon to know.

But it is best to stay vigilant in these matters. Because I have a word or two — well, three — of warning for you: Cute never sleeps.

By Jim Shahin