JA Farrens Walnut

Outdoor seating is one of the new perks available to patrons at Farren's since it opened Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in its new location in the former Radio Maria space at 117/119 N. Walnut St., C.

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Q: What's better about the restaurant's new location in the former Radio Maria space on Walnut Street?

A: "I don’t even know where to start," owner Carolyn Farren said.

On Tuesday, Farren's opened its doors at 117/119 N. Walnut St. in downtown Champaign. The move from 308 N. Randolph St. — the pub’s home for the last 19 years — brings plenty of improvements.

To name a few: It’s bigger, with far more storage, bar space and seating.

The Walnut Street location features five outdoor tables with four seats apiece and a north side that is still being worked on, with an undetermined opening date.

Even with the unopened north side, there are still more seats at than before.

Two new sandwiches were added to the menu, along with a selection of flavors from the restaurant's new slushy machine.

"We have the best regulars in the entire world," Farren said. "There are people who've already stopped by that have been going since we opened the place almost 20 years ago."

Aside from two new hires, they've kept the same staff from their previous location.

"It's been a little challenging at first adjusting to the new space, but regulars seem really excited about the move," said Megan Walker, who's going on her second month serving at Farren's.

One of the biggest improvements is visibility.

"Before, Farren's was tucked away, kind of off the beaten path. Now it is front and center in the downtown area," said lifelong Champaign resident Kate Mechling.

Farren's takes over the old spot of Radio Maria, a longtime tapas restaurant that closed in December. Farren secured the space in February.