Smile Politely

A first look at Encanto Restaurant and Bar, opening where Crane Alley was

The brand new Encanto Restaurant and Bar opens in Downtown Urbana where Crane Alley closed. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

Encanto Restaurant and Bar will open in Downtown Urbana this Friday, September 1st with a menu of Mexican and Peruvian cuisine, bringing life back to the space that used to be Crane Alley. Encanto will serve appetizers, fajitas, burritos, quesadillas, tortas, tacos, burgers, nachos, soups, and salads. The new restaurant’s menu also has a vegetarian section, ten different kids meals, 15 lunch specials, and 12 margaritas plus beer, cocktails, and dessert.

I’m most excited about Encanto’s Peruivian dishes which will include lomo saltado (beef, tomato, red onion, cilantro, soy sauce, and fries with white rice), arroz chaufa (stir-fried rice with grilled steak or chicken, eggs, green onions, bean sprouts, and soy sauce) and picante de mariscos (Peruvian-spiced shrimp, octopus, squid, and mussels smothered in a creamy red sauce with a side of white rice).

Inside Encanto Restaurant and Bar, there is a mural with monarch butterflies and a feminine face with Day of the Dead makeup poking out of long leaves and purple flowers. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

The new restaurant has stunning murals painted by Champaign-Urbana artists. This one and the one behind the bar were both painted by Lisa Kesler who also painted a mural for Mama’s African Kitchen.

Inside Encanto Restaurant and Bar, there is a mural of two Mexican dancers in makeup. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

This mural was by Jose Vazquez, the artist who painted Champaign’s gorgeous CUPHD mural at 201 W Kenyon Road.

The exterior of Encanto Restaurant and Bar in Downtown Urbana. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

Encanto has dine-in booths on the first level, tables on the upper level, and dining in the alley. The new restaurant will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m.; the kitchen closes at 1:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at midnight Sunday through Thursday.

In any case, the name alone will probably be enough to convince any Disney fan to try Encanto.

Encanto Restaurant and Bar
115 W Main St
11 a.m. to 2 a.m., daily

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