The corner table at Modern Snack Bar was where matriarch Wanda Wittmeier could typically be found when she was at the landmark Main Road diner she founded with her husband in 1950.
But her spot at the popular establishment was found empty Friday morning, following her death on Thursday.
Ms. Wittmeier was 91.
She had just celebrated the restaurant’s 64th opening day on April 1, with the help of sons John and Otto, who’ve been helping in the handling of day-to-day operations.
In an interview that day, Ms. Wittmeier said “It feels great,” as she wrapped silverware in napkins for service, seated under a big mirror in the front room. “It’s exciting to see my friends and extended family.”
The family-run operation received much praise during her tenure. Last June Modern Snack bar was one of 12 diners in the country — and the only one on Long Island — to be named one of ‘America’s Best Diners’ by Travel + Leisure Magazine.
Not long after, Ms. Wittmeier’s lemon meringue pie recipe, made on-site and bursting with homemade ingredients, made the number one spot in Saveur Magazine’s ‘Top 100’ list of recipes for 2013.
The family will receive visitors Sunday, May 18, and Monday, May 19, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Reginald H. Tuthill Funeral Home in Riverhead. A funeral service will take place Tuesday, May 20, at Old Steeple Community Church in Aquebogue. Burial will take place at Aquebogue Cemetery.
WITH LAURA HUBER