Robert and Shauna Banta, at the Screaming Eagle in Pelican Rapids. Robert Banta’s death, following a year-long struggle with cancer, was announced Dec. 23.
Robert and Shauna Banta, from a 2012 Christmas Card not long after they were married.

 The restaurant owner who gained loyal customers after just three years in Pelican Rapids has died after a one-year battle with cancer. 

The announcement came Dec. 23, over social media, from his wife and business partner Shauna Banta.  The couple owned and operated Screaming Eagle cafe in Pelican Rapids 

“Robert will be reunited with his Mom, Dad and little brother this Christmas, my warrior is in heaven,” wrote Banta. “Robert, you fought harder and longer than anyone expected you to and I am so very proud of you. Until we meet again my love…”

The restaurant closed mid-December, as Robert entered Hospice Care.  

Launched in late 2016, the restaurant gained a loyal following. Both had extensive experience in food service. Robert had been working restaurants since he was 15 years old and was an executive chef at the Nicollet Island Hotel in St. Paul, the Radisson South and the Crown Plaza/Northland Inn (now Marriott).  He also had several stops in Las Vegas at Bally’s, The Orleans and Caesar’s Palace in Lake Tahoe. Shauna, worked by his side at some of those places including the Northland Inn. Together, they had over 50 years of experience in food service. 

Banta’s death prompted dozens of sympathy notices on social media, many of them loyal customers and friends the Bantas developed in what was a relatively short–but successful­–time in Pelican Rapids.

Following are just a small sampling of the many online comments over the past two weeks regarding the Bantas and Screaming Eagle. 

Sue Magnusson McCracken You and Robert were a remarkable team and much loved by the Pelican Rapids community! Take care of yourself and keep in touch! 

Kim Johnson Guck I’m so sorry for your loss, he was such a kind person from the first time I ever went into the restaurant. He will be greatly missed by so many.

Dawn Lysaker Truly one of a kind…such a great personality and chef…he’ll be greatly missed and the wonderful Screaming Eagle will be too…

Cindy Johnson So sorry for your loss, Shauna! Robert was a wonderful, thoughtful, and caring person. You both will be missed so deeply.

Lisa Milbeck Thinking of you during this difficult time. Robert was such a fun guy to be around!

Tami Seifert I am so so sorry! No more pain. My heart goes out to all of you in this difficult time. Praying for comfort and peace for your families.

Elaine Blixt All our deepest sympathy. He was a warrior for sure! 

Becky Lommen A gem that came into your life and sparkled all the way to the very end! Treasure those many memories and thanks for coming to Pelican Rapids and sharing your talents and selves with all of us! Hugs!!

Torey Ostlund Way to fight the good fight chef. Thanks for all the amazing stories at the restaurant. RIP chef.

Julie Tunheim Sad news, but yours is a story of amazing faith and love. God’s peace to you.