The Modern Café was open for its last day of business on March 14, 2015. Jim and Patty Grell, who had operated the Modern Café for 20 years, had had their fill, and were moving on from the restaurant business. The Grell’s had maintained the style of the restaurant to include mid-century furnishings from the time of the original owners.
Prior to the Modern Café, Rabitin’s Café existed on this spot. It began with Stephen and Mary Rabatin, Slovak immigrants who started the café as a family business in 1941. The café included home cooked food, and a soda fountain. The population of the northeast neighborhoods they served included Grain Belt Brewery workers, Sheridan School students, and Ritz Theater moviegoers. When Stephen died in 1948, Mary continued to run the business as well as raise her six children, who worked in the restaurant. Mary died in 1991, and the family sold the restaurant to the Grells, who opened for business on August 8th, 1994.