Rocking Out at Denny's?

To draw a younger crowd, the chain is amping up its late-night vibe. Drunks welcome

Dennis Kleiman for TIME

It's a Saturday night in April, and Me Talk Pretty is rocking the house. Not a very large house, mind you. The kind of dank, beer-stained shoe box frequented by up-and-comers. But the sound is sharp, and the vocalist, Julia Preotu, can sing. Me Talk Pretty has potential.

Between songs, however, Preotu offers a very odd invitation. "Come party with us at Denny's later on," she tells the small, somewhat liquored-up crowd in Danbury, Conn. Say what? These hip 20-somethings are taking the after-party to Denny's? Isn't that the place where old people powwow over coffee? Later, the lead singer of...

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