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Monday, October 23, 2017

A bright light on a cloudy day

Luna Café

A bright light on a cloudy day

Story by Sandy Cathcart

Photography provided by Luna Café

 

Luna Café, inside Ashland Hills Hotel, has lived up to its name by brightening our little corner of Southern Oregon. Becky Neuman, lead designer and owner (also owner of Ashland Springs Hotel), is largely responsible. At first glance, Neuman saw possibilities. She noted the 70’s structure and saw something of importance in a community that used to have great charm before falling on difficult times. She began working a miracle for people to hold onto special memories, and then she set out to find just the right furniture, lighting and colors.

“I’m a treasure hunter,” Neuman says. “I find my joy that way, and I get so much support from my husband Doug. We visit a lot of consignment meccas near Palm Desert. In the early days, we trailered everything back ourselves, rumbling up I-5 with all my treasures. We jokingly called ourselves the Oregon hillbillies.”

Neuman now has someone else transport furniture for her, and she relies heavily on her team for whom she has high praise. Ava DeRosier, the Director of Food and Beverage, is not only knowledgeable and efficient at her job, but also absolutely loves serving people and making sure everyone’s needs are met. A love of service is obvious in every team member.

Entering Luna Café is like stepping back in time to a delightful era less troubled and chaotic than today’s world. A time when styles were electric and the whole world looked and acted as if it had been plugged in. A time when people were more concerned with heavenly stars and putting a man on the moon. 

Luna’s seventies retro color brightens any mood, and the many choices of seating arrangements offer the perfect dining or snacking experience. Come for coffee and a scrumptious fresh baked dessert and work on your computer with free Internet service. Come with your friends and sit at a long table while you reminisce old memories. Come with a business partner for a delicious lunch. Or come with your sweetheart and sit on the deck with a delightful view of beautiful gardens and rolling hills. There are special seating choices for families with children and even a beautiful area out front for guests who wish to dine with their dogs. Each pet receives its own water bowl and a doggie treat.

Bright smiles and aim-to-please attitudes welcome you through the sunny entryway. First stop is at the counter to select from an amazing array of delectable and local farm-to-counter food. Luna staff will empower you to create your own dining experience. After placing your order, you will be given a lucky number on a table stand and shown where to pick up your silverware and citrus water before choosing between the many areas of seating. There’s no hopping up to retrieve your order; it will be brought to you.

Perhaps the most difficult choice is between Luna’s many handcrafted specialties such as gourmet pizza, a tasty choice of burgers, rotisserie chicken and meats, vegetarian options, artisan coffees and teas (Yes! They serve Noble coffee, a favorite among locals), house-made pastries, microbrews, house cocktails, and the region’s best local wines and cheeses.

Be sure to mention if you are on a special diet. Luna staff will do their best to accommodate in a delicious way. I put them to the test and they exceeded my expectations with a Dunbar Farms black bean burger on one of my favorite gluten-free breads, alongside a fresh fruit cup that was actually sweet and ripe, not the hard, tasteless version I often receive from restaurants. No time to sit down? No problem. Luna’s mercantile features lots of grab-n-go picnic items, road trip provisions, and doggie treats. Don’t miss the pastry case for a delicacy that won’t soon be forgotten. Ingredients are listed on the back of each name plate for those with special needs. 

Here is a little secret for our readers. Luna features Wine Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Each Wine Wednesday features a local winery, brewery, chocolatier, or cheesemaker alongside local musicians. It is complimentary to anyone over the age of 21 who live in the area or are guests in the hotel. For more details, check out Instagram.

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert and drinks, Luna Café has something for every member of the family whether you are local or just passing through. It’s an easy off and on for I-5 travelers. Be sure to check out their web page for special events.

 

Luna Café

2525 Ashland St. (inside Ashland Hills Hotel)

541-482-3372

www.LunaCafeAshland.com

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