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Downtown Champaign will be suffering yet another Italian restaurant closing this year. First, Dom’s closed at the end of 2007 and now, The Great Impasta, a downtown tradition for more than 25 years, will be shutting its doors at the end of 2008.

“It’s not established, for me, if this is a closing or if it’s another move. It might just be another part of the saga,” Harold Allston, the former chef and now owner of The Great Impasta says. In years past, the restaurant occupied a space in the building three doors away, at 132 W. Church St., where Sushi Kame is currently located.


“Downtown is definitely the place to be right now,” Allston says. “So I would consider the downtown [for a new location]. But there are other possibilities — the construction that ’s happening at Windsor and Philo in southeast Urbana. There’s a myriad of possibilities. I’m entertaining all of them.”

In the meantime, Allston is thinking up great events for the Impasta’s 25th anniversary. “Wine tasting might happen over the summer,” he said. “More dinner and lunch specials. We want it to be great.”

The Great Impasta will still be serving up its traditional and not-so-traditional plates of pasta for the rest of the year, as well as live jazz every Wednesday and Thursday night from 6-9 p.m. As always, Don Heitler, a solo keyboardist, will be playing on Wednesdays. On Thursdays, the Kevin Turner Trio will entertain the restaurant’s crowd.

The Great Impasta is located at 114 W. Church St. in downtown Champaign.

Photo courtesy of Champaign Taste