Interview by Abernathy Cochran intern and Gainesville High junior Donangelo Marshall
Meet Juan Luna! Juan owns the beloved Luna’s Restaurant on the downtown Gainesville square. Luna’s opened on Feb. 7, 1997 and their goal is to “offer the local community a restaurant serving the best American cuisine with a Continental flair.”
Juan has lived in Hall County for 23 years and said he loves to work in the restaurant and speak with his customers.
“I really do everything. I greet people, I answer the phone, I seat, I set tables, express concern, and I want to please everyone that comes in and out,” he said.

He jokingly added that his favorite restaurant in Gainesville is Luna’s and that his favorite dish on the menu is the
Rack of Lamb.
We asked our group what their favorite dishes are at Luna’s and here are some of our favorites:
  • Brad Abernathy: Jerk Chicken
  • Ricky Lewallen: Chopped Sirloin Steak
  • Rosemary Hancock: Oysters
  • Ashley Bates: Crème brûlée
We want to thank Juan for spending time with us recently and telling us more about his life and love of Hall County.

Photos courtesy of Luna’s Restaurant

Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: “I’ve always wanted to be a restaurant owner since the age of 16 when I worked as a dishwasher.”

Q: How long have you lived or worked in Hall County?
A: “Twenty-three years…by the way, today is Luna’s 23rd anniversary!”

Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “Luna’s! My favorite meal here is Rack of Lamb, it’s roasted and is very well seasoned… it’s a different flavor, it’s just a beautiful flavor like no other.”

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “I would love to go back to Africa, to see wildlife the way it should be seen. The last time I went there was 12 or 13 years ago. I flew to Johannesburg and then I flew from there to Port Elizabeth, I stayed there for a week, and then I went to Cape Town. It’s a beautiful city.”

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: “Maybe ‘Gandhi’ — I like the simplicity.”

Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Have integrity. You should be proud of your name because that’s who we are. You should also have a decent character and compassion.”

Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “Maybe to go to Scandinavia. People are different… I think It would interesting to go there, I think the lifestyle of the people there is much healthier.”

Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: “John Lennon, Bob Seger, and Barry White.”

Q: Being a business owner, what do you like about the business environment of Hall County?
A: “Well, I definitely love the space that we have here, I like that’s it’s not crowded and I love the growth. It’s prosperous, there’s a lot of business opportunities.

Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Hall County would you have lunch?
A: “I would say Micheal Jordan or Warren Buffet. I would like to meet Warren Buffet, he’s one of the richest men but he’s a very simple man. He still goes to the same barbershop and doesn’t care for fancy luxurious things. He’s definitely someone who I would want to meet.”

Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Hall County?
A: “It’s friendly. I think that we still have compassion here and it’s caring.”

Q: Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
A: “Hopefully retired, traveling, playing golf, and just enjoying life and not working.”

Q: What three words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “Peace, tranquility, love.”

Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “I’m a hard worker and I am considerate. I would like to think that I’m very kind.”