Iconic Nanaimo restaurant closes

Modern Café customers were surprised to learn of the popular downtown eatery
Modern Café customers were surprised to learn of the popular downtown eatery's closure Thursday.
— image credit: CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

An iconic restaurant and major draw to Nanaimo’s downtown core is no longer in business.

The Modern Cafe closed Thursday, with a bailiff notice posted to the Commercial Street restaurant’s door to advise staff and customers.

Owner Scott Cooper, who won a Sterling Award in May for Business Leader of the Year, posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page: “It is with great sadness today that I announce that the Modern Cafe is closed and has ceased operation under current ownership. I am so very sorry for the trouble and anguish that I have caused staff, customers, vendors, and the city of Nanaimo.”

It’s the second restaurant to close suddenly downtown, with the Dancing Goat coffee shop and restaurant on Front Street closing last month.

Corry Hostetter, general manager of the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association, said the organization often hears about struggling businesses, but not this time – the closing of the Modern was a complete surprise.

“We didn’t see the Dancing Goat happen either,” Hostetter said.

She said the failure of the two restaurants isn’t indicative of the business climate in downtown Nanaimo.

“From what I’m hearing from other businesses, business is good,” Hostetter said.

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