Downtown meters in front of restaurants free for food pick up


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Finding parking in Downtown in front of your favorite restaurant on a Saturday used to be impossible. Now, not only can you find a meter, you don’t even have to pay for it.

If you go to Downtown to pick up food from a restaurant, you will see meters with orange bags over them. Bags that read, “food pick up zone, fifteen-minute parking.”

Last Tuesday, City Council approved the bagging of those meters. The owner of Mac’s Restaurant Downtown says she never thought she would miss people filling in those spaces at the parking meters.

“We would like to come to work, and there would be no parking again, so I’m never going to complain about no parking again,” said Gelaine Apuan, the owner of Mac’s.

Apaun says business has been slow but regulars have still been ordering to-go.

Owner of Mac’s Downtown.

“The regular customers who have come in and picked up things to go when they order over the phone we always tell them don’t forget there are two designated parking spaces that you don’t have to pay, and we will run it out to your car,” said Apuan.

The Downtown Management District says hopefully the free parking will draw more people to order food from Downtown businesses.

“Well, you know it’s doing everything we can to help the businesses and to help the public support those businesses,” said Joe Gudenrath, the Executive Director of the El Paso Downtown Management District. “I think El Pasoans that have the means and the ability want to keep supporting their local businesses.”

Gudenrath says the plan is to keep the meters bagged for as long as restaurants are restricted to take-out only.

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