The suite on Main Street that used to contain Nate’s Diner and the Laundromat is undergoing a serious rock ‘n’ roll makeover.
Nate’s Diner has been replaced by the Rhythm Café, a restaurant that serves classic American food staples.
The Laundromat is becoming a package liquor store to be called, brilliantly, Rhythm and Booze.
The Rhythm Café and Rhythm and Booze are family operations — the brainchildren of the DuBach family, a family with deep ties to Bloomington-Normal.
“We were looking for another business opportunity,” Jared DuBach, general manager of the Rhythm Café, said. “My family has bar and grill experience as well as liquor store experience, so it all just seemed right.”
The DuBach family’s unique fingerprint is all over the Rhythm Café — even the restaurant’s name.
“My dad spent a lot of time in the 60s and 70s in Southern California. He had friends who owned a diner there called the Rhythm Café,” Dubach said. “He always had great stories about it.”
Entering the Rhythm Café, one is immediately struck by the vintage rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere, complete with classic records lining the walls.
“All the records are from my personal collection,” DuBach said.
The DuBach family also puts out the B-N Groove, a local arts and entertainment paper that frequently covers live music shows.
As for the food itself, the idea behind the Americana theme was quite simple: “We wanted to do something college kids would be into,” DuBach said.
“The burgers are from a butcher in Iroquois Valley. We get whole, real cuts of beef — not trim patties. A lot of people like it,” DuBach continued. “I’ve had some people tell me it reminds them of a Steak ‘n Shake burger, except a little thicker.”
All interested in inexpensive, high-quality food (or maybe just having an insightful conversation about Iggy Pop, as this writer did on his recent trip to the restaurant) are thoroughly encouraged to swing by the Rhythm Café.