Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Valley Fast Food Restaurant to Re-Open

I have been observing all the hub-bub about a new fast food restaurant opening in the valley today. Yes its true there aren't many Mickey D's in the valley so when opens I guess its noteworthy.

There aren't any Starbucks south of I-10 (outside of the one downtown) either but no one really talks about that.

Richard Castro is a rich guy. The vato owns all the Mickey D's in town so that makes sense. He was pretty heavily involved in the last County Judge race and donated a lot of money to Aliana Apodaca.

So I sorta chuckled when I read this story on my El Paso Times app.

It made me chuckle because it underscores just how safe El Paso really is. While our ghetto-neighbors to the north in Albuquerque have a lady who was having sex with two German Shepherds and tried to poison her boyfriend, a new McDonald's is "breaking news".

Its actually not new though, its been there before but was totally redone into the new Gucci McDonald's.

But pound-for-pound, its not the most important fast food restaurant re-opening. The most important one, and I'd say by far, is the Whataburger in Socorro.

First of all, we live in Texas so there's no reason to debate a known fact. Whataburger > McDonald's so I won't bother insulting your good Texas sensibilities with a debate about which is better.

But the closing of the Whataburger in Socorro was a big deal. It was on the corner of Horizon and Alameda for years and many people have used it as a meeting place in addition to being their favorite burger joint. Willie Gandara Sr, Poppa Willie as I call him, used to hold court there almost every morning when he was Mayor of Socorro. Kids would pack the place after school events at Socorro High School. And it was a favorite place to stop after a night of drinking for just about everyone in town who's ever partied into the wee hours of the morning.

It was across the street from "the dead tree". If you're from Socorro you know the place. Local political legend has it that if you put your campaign sign on that tree its good luck. I don't know where that came from because some candidates with a sign on the dead tree win, and some of them lose. But we are raza and we are a superstitious lot.

Anywho, the fact that it had closed due to a road widening project on Horizon was actually a pretty big deal. People in Socorro were pretty pissed that their Whataburger had closed. For a time it was unknown if it was going to reopen. But alas, Socorro City Council worked it out and approved zoning for the Whataburger landmark to return to town, though it will be in a new location.

"We are very excited that Whataburger is returning to Socorro and welcome them back. We have received many positive comments from our constituents regarding their return and everyone is looking forward to the opening', said Socorro Mayor Jesus Ruiz (left, pictured with Councilman Rene Rodriguez).

The new location will be just east of Rio Vista on Alameda, near the Murphy Oil. Construction of the new Whataburger restaurant is set to being in September. Information on the official re-opening date is not available at this time.

I contacted their corporate headquarters to get an official date (and to complain about not getting extra cheese even though I was charged for it) but that information is not yet available.

Bottom line is that there are plenty of McDonalds around town. And there's even one in Socorro. But the Whataburger reopening is a bigger deal to Socorro than another Mickey D's in a location that already had one.

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