February 8, 2023 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

La Luna Cafe closed, new business expected to open

La Luna Cafe, located at 208 Main Street in St. Joseph, had numerous issues after it was sold to Ranjia Singh last year.

In December 2018 the restaurant failed an inspection by the Champaign County Public Health Department.


The restaurant had six critical violations including a sprouted potato in a reach-in cooler and curdled milk in the reach-in cooler.

Cheese and sour cream were stored at the wrong temperature and the business was lacking adequate refrigeration as no working refrigerator was available, no hand washing sink was provided for the bar area, no form of chemical sanitizer was used to sanitize food contact surfaces in the facility and no current food manager certificate was posted.


Non-critical violations included bags of cheese being stored incorrectly, unapproved bar service, the wrong wood being used for the bar top, dirty knives, sinks and a toilet plunger being stored by clean plates.


A re-inspection showed that the upright refrigerator in the kitchen was not repaired and the unit was not operational because of this the deli unit in the restaurant remained closed.


While this was going on, the village was examining the establishments liquor license.


Mayor and liquor commissioner Tami Fruhling-Voges revoked the restaurant’s liquor license after a liquor license hearing. The revoking of the liquor license means the village now has six licenses, which are all in use.


A fine was also issued to the liquor store.


Fruhling-Voges said the license was revoked because the village ordinance requires that a restaurant license be used by an establishment that has 51 percent of their sales be food.


“They weren’t serving much food,” she said.


The village asked the business for an audit, which they provided.

The audit showed that the establishment was meeting the requirements.


“From what we could tell they weren’t even close,” she said.

“Numerous people have gone in there to order food and they weren’t open or had excuses.”


Fruhling-Voges said if another establishment in town wants a liquor license they will have to apply and the village board will have to discuss the issue.


The fine, of $250, was issued to the liquor store because they were serving alcohol while letting people use their gambling machines which is not what their liquor license allowed them to do.


The business has been closed since.


However, Anthony Laubscher announced on Facebook that he was interested in buying the building that sits next to his current business A.J’s Station.

Laubscher said he hopes to close soon but as of yet is unsure what he will put in the building.


“I am purchasing it,” he said on social media. “We close very soon.”

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