Don Luna Dream Becomes Reality with help from WISBDC

December 18, 2013

Juan Cortes began his affiliation with the Workforce & Illinois Small Business Development (WISBDC) at Southeastern Illinois College in spring of 2008.  Cortes wanted to run his own restaurant and decided to build the restaurant in Harrisburg. After meeting with Lori Cox, Director of the WISBDC, he proceeded with his dream.  Obtaining the dream was a difficult task, as there were many obstacles that Cox helped him overcome, including building issues, city ordinances, etc.  After much perseverance and with the help of the WISBDC, Cortes opened his first restaurant in November 2008, offering Mexican food at a reasonable price. 

Cortes then opened another restaurant in West Frankfort.  He offered the same menu as the Harrisburg location.  Just as he did in Harrisburg, he started with a portable building and then built the dine-in facility, which was completed in January 2013.  Recently, Cortes decided to offer a full service menu, offering special dinner plates, such as chimichangas, steak and chicken fajitas, carne asada, and steak ranchero, to name a few.  He thought this evening-only menu would draw in the dinner crowd.  While he admits that the evening full-service menu is more work, he wanted to give the people of West Frankfort every opportunity to come in and try his restaurant.  The reviews online are quick to give the restaurant praise for its “clean and friendly atmosphere,” as well as its “fabulous food.”

Cortes said, “Working with the WISBDC staff has helped my dream become a reality.  If you are interested in starting a business, you should begin by calling their office.”

The restaurant sign reads, “Don Luna Mexican Restaurant, Fresh, Fast N’ Goooood,” and as the reviews report, the sign is correct! Follow Don Luna on Facebook at and visit the restaurant at the Harrisburg location at 612 W. Poplar St. (618) 252-6222 or in West Frankfort at 1012 W. Main St. (618) 932-2029. 

The Workforce & Illinois Small Business Development Center is designed to assist owners and managers of small businesses or anyone wanting to start a business. Many of the services of the Center are available at no charge. Call (618) 252-5001 to receive business counseling, learn about upcoming events, or for training opportunities.