Modern Times turned an iconic building into a breakfast and lunch cafe that's a literal bright spot-it's painted fluorescent green-along the historically rough-and-tumble Chicago corridor. The owners did much of the renovation work themselves, with the help of friends, and the space embraces an eclectic, DIY aesthetic: The walls look like they're on about their hundredth coat of paint and the tabletops are covered with rainbows. The café's spread is similar to that of places like the Seward Café, Triple Rock, and Hard Times, where the chef/co-owner once worked, actually, but executes the concept with more refinement and consistency than most of its brethren. There's something a little subversive about ordering your short stack of vegan pancakes studded with bacon crumbles, but go ahead, Modern Times is an open-minded sort of place, including both grass-fed beef hamburgers and house-made seitan sandwiches. The Croque Jean-Paul, with ham, Gruyere cheese, two perfectly poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce, is a luxurious indulgence that seems far too elegant to grace the table of a restaurant with a stuffed pheasant in the restroom.