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Longtime Hagerstown restaurant moving from outskirts to downtown

March 31, 2013|By HOLLY SHOK | holly.shok@herald-mail.com
  • Jose "Joey" Gomez plans to move his El Paso restaurant from 700 Dual Highway to 10-12 E. Washington St. in downtown Hagerstown in May.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — El Paso, a longtime Hagerstown eatery, plans to move to downtown Hagerstown in May.

The Mexican restaurant, which has operated at 700 Dual Highway for the past two decades, is slated to move to 10-12 E. Washington St., according to the restaurant’s manager, Jose “Joey” Gomez.

Gomez has been working at the restaurant since his father, Jose, and mother, Marie, opened it in 1994.

“I think we’re going to be a great addition to downtown,” Gomez said earlier this month, noting many of the restaurant’s customers work in the city.

The move comes despite renovations to the restaurant last year, which included seating and tile updates to the sunroom, bathroom upgrades and an added outdoor patio.

The decision to relocate came with the expiration of a nearly 20-year lease on the Dual Highway building, Gomez said.

“They don’t want to lease, they want to own,” he said of his parents.

Gomez said he hopes to be in the new location by May 5.

Last week, the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County approved Gomez’ request to transfer the liquor license from the old restaurant to the new location. 

Downtown Manager Andrew Sargent said the owners have been given information about the city’s Facade Grant Program, which matches funds used on facade improvements, including structural repairs and painting, up to $5,000.

“For nearly two decades, El Paso has been a successful restaurant, and now they are moving to our City Center. This is definitely a clear sign that there are opportunities for business growth,” Sargent said in an email. “But there are also opportunities for business investment. El Paso is purchasing their new location, which is a real act of confidence in the future of City Center.”

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