Restaurant expanding to historic Downtown building, LED sign approved


Photo courtesy of the city of El Paso.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A Downtown restaurant is expanding its business to a historic building brought back to life by young investors.

Chelito’s, a locally owned business known for serving burritos, gorditas and tortas, will soon operate a storefront in the Trost-designed Abdou building at 115 N. Mesa Street.

The restaurant has another location on South El Paso Street that serves patrons crossing the U.S. Mexico border.

“We are looking for expansion in the coming years,” said Edgar Orozco, a part-owner of the business.

It is unclear when the business will open its doors.

For weeks, a sign advertising the business has sat on the building prompting questions of what would occupy a street-level space inside the 112-year-old landmark.

Ben Marcus, one of the building’s owners met with the city’s Historic Landmark Commission on Monday for permission to setup an illuminated sign advertising the business.

The commission unanimously agreed to allow the owners to setup an LED sign advertising the business outside of the Abdou building.

City documents show the business began pulling permits to renovate the business in December for electrical, plumbing and mechanical improvements.

Permits say the owners are looking to fix up 1,225 square feet inside the space to open a restaurant.

The Abdou building was built in 1909 and designed by famed Southwest architect Henry Trost. The building has five three-room and two-bathroom suites. They offer 2,000 square feet and a 360-degree view of the Downtown area.

Young investors Ben Marcus, J.W. Rogers and Tyson Carameros formed a limited liability corporation in 2016 to purchase the building. They are credited with being behind the efforts to restore the building.

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