Monarch reopens its doors to community


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A popular staple for El Pasoans to hang out, eat and drink is reopening its doors after closing down several times due to restrictions caused by the pandemic.

“It’s a rollercoaster. You’re always trying to balance and gauge everything,” Leo Lara, general manager of Monarch told KTSM 9 News. “It’s been a little bit tougher than what we had anticipated, but here we are. Hopefully this time we can last for good, but we’ll see.”

Monarch has shut its doors multiple times this year because of the surge of COVID-19 cases in El Paso.

“Instead of trying to figure things out with who was enforcing what and all of that, we just decided to shut it down,” Lara said. “Plus things weren’t necessarily doing that well anyway, it wasn’t a good idea to stay open. At least we didn’t think so. We just decided to shut it down for a bit.”

Regulars were happy to see the venue open once again.

“It was pretty hard you know. Especially for the ones who used to come here a lot like me, but you know, stuff happens. We have to live through it,” Lilana Ortigoza, a customer at Monarch, shared.

Lara said during the back-and-forth of closing down, the local business was able to get what it needed to operate while following local guidelines. “We got the food license and have the new food truck called ‘Veggie Jackson.'”

The team at Monarch is remaining hopeful while being open again.

“What I think is important for everybody is that there is a little bit of hope out there and the end of the year is around the corner so hopefully that helps a little bit with the bad juju but we’ll see,” Lara said.

Through all the ups and downs, Lara said the plan was always there to come back and continue serving El Pasoans.

“It’s really nice to come back to something familiar. It’s like coming back home,” Ortigoza said.

“It feels good. You just kind of forget that the energy is always there and it sucks because it’s messed up a lot of people during this time so it’s nice to remember those things,” Lara added.

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