The new design of Paris under Baron Hausmann resulted in a huge increase in cafes, which lined the streets and spread out onto the expansive boulevards. These establishments often provided a daily destination for gatherings and refreshments and thus created a new social milieu. With so many cafes sprouting up all over Paris, it was not surprising that they proved to be popular subjects for the artists who were seeking modern themes. Manet and Degas used the setting to underscore the effects of drink and lonliness among the lower classes in such works as Manet's The plum (coll. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.) and Degas's The Absinthe drinker (coll. Muse d'Orsay, Paris). Raffalli also chose a cafe setting in the present picture. However, unlike the dejected sitters in the paintings by Manet and Degas, Raffalli's figure represents another member of Paris society that was proliferating under the Third Republic -- the young working class girl, a seamstress, laundress or shopkeeper's assistant -- who one may speculate has stopped at a cafe to have a libation after a day's work.