Hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private investments are transforming downtown El Paso, Texas, into a thriving food, music and arts scene. The Hotel Indigo El Paso Downtown, the city’s first boutique-style property, has helped lead the resurgence. A world-class entertainment facility, Triple-A baseball park and many new restaurants have also recently opened. Here’s a look:
Eating, Drinking Well in Old El Paso
Traditional fare like street tacos and pork belly sandwiches abound in this city that has embraced the food truck scene. You will also find a range of brick-and-mortar restaurants serving up everything from great burgers at Burger Boy to classic Mexican fare at Café Colon, which is located in a historic, renovated movie theater.
Looking for charcuterie and craft brews? Try Craft & Social in the heart of downtown. Design buffs have two worthy dining choices in the historic Anson Mills Building, which is the work of iconic architect Henry Trost — upscale dining at Anson Eleven on the second floor, or pub-style fare at the building’s bistro on the first floor.
Meanwhile, a number of craft breweries have made their way into downtown, notably Deadbeach Brewery, Ode Brewing and El Paso Brewing Co. Just north of central downtown, The Black Orchid Lounge offers up a long list of locally inspired signature cocktails under vintage chandeliers.
El Paso Grooves
The downtown Arts District features multiple venues to take in everything from Broadway musicals and symphony concerts to the latest pop acts and rockabilly festivals. Near the convention center, the Abraham Chavez Theater and McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre present a regular schedule of nationally known acts, the nearby Plaza Theatre showcases award-winning productions and Arts Festival Plaza hosts music and food festivals year-round.
For something more intimate, iconic downtown cocktail haunts King’s X Bar, Tricky Falls and The Black Orchid Lounge boast regular live music performances with local and traveling artists, as do a number of smaller bars and cantinas.
Walking Art Scene
With 2 percent of every capital improvement project set aside to create public art, the city has created a walking guide that can be downloaded and printed or viewed on a mobile device.
One of the most prominent public art installations is at the entrance to the El Paso Museum of History on Santa Fe Street — the Digital Information Gateway (DIGIE) . This interactive 3D wall shows visitors images and videos from 400 years of history along the Texas-Mexico border. DIGIE is free and available for viewing 24 hours a day.
The New EP Design Aesthetic
Part Mad Men, part city-of-the-future, El Paso has brought together elements from its rich history and forward-looking, high-tech design elements like the DIGIE and state-of-the-art hotel and event venues.
From 1903 to 1933, Henry Trost and his firm, Trost & Trost designed hundreds of notable buildings across the Southwest, including iconic El Paso buildings like the International Museum of Art and the Anson Mills Building. The firm’s designs are experiencing a revival as part of the downtown resurgence.