His father Valentin Mrak as a young man started to work as a servant in the kitchen of a local pub. As he carried out his work diligently, he was promoted to an assistant of the pub manager and soon, he took over the business. When he bought a house and moved his business to present hotel location nearby archeological excavations of the Roman wall, he was so excited about it that he decided to name his pub “Old Roman Guesthouse.”
Soon it was known for its excellent Slovenian traditional cuisine and became very popular meeting place among various artists, writers, painters, architects, professors and actors of that time. It was nicely decorated and had hospitality rooms, which were named after the famous Slovenian poets Preseren and Askerc. Dance parties, gatherings and various literary meetings were hosted in a room with vaulted ceilings which led to the magnificent garden, known as “saloon”. Even the first meeting of the Slovenian National Government in 1918 was held there. Later, this room has been turned into a small dining room and dedicated to the memory of Ivan Mrak. Presently, historic photos and prints adorn its walls. In 1916 “Old Roman Guesthouse” changed the name into “Pri Mraku Guesthouse”.