CHAMPAIGN — The owner of the recently closed Luna Restaurant in downtown Champaign said she's ready to do something different.
Raquel Aikman, who operated the restaurant for a decade, told The News-Gazette by email: "I am recently married and a new mom, and with just having turned an exciting 40, I am ready to start a new chapter."
Aikman said the restaurant — located at the south end of the former Illinois Central Railroad station at 116 N. Chestnut St. — "represented a lot of the culinary experiences I gained from my decade living abroad and three-year culinary school in Switzerland."
Aikamn said she wanted to thank employees and customers who have patronized the restaurant since 2003.
The restaurant, originally known as Cafe Luna, was first located in the College Corner Mall at Fourth and Green streets in Champaign's Campustown. It moved to the former train station in 2008.
The move gave it greater indoor seating, along with a patio.
Raquel Aikman's brother, Iren Aikman, who had worked at the old location, chose the new spot after he and his wife moved to San Francisco in 2007. When the restaurant opened at the new location, he said he planned to return to Luna several days each month, with Raquel serving as executive chef and manager.
Luna promoted the "small-plate concept," serving a wide variety of tapas as well as entrees and a selection of wines.