Adios, El Paso, thanks for the fond mem­o­ries

Papakura Courier - - FRONT PAGE - LIU CHEN

An iconic South Auck­land take­away and dairy shop closed its doors for the fi­nal time last Fri­day af­ter serv­ing cus­tomers for 65 years.

Sit­ting on a bend of Drury Creek in Hin­gaia Road, Karaka, it has been a pop­u­lar place for new and long-time cus­tomers from lo­cal busi­nesses, schools and res­i­dences to get a de­li­cious bite and drink.

Hav­ing seen the clo­sure no­tice at the en­trance, cus­tomers had been ex­press­ing their sad­ness.

‘‘Where are we go­ing to get our fish and chips now? You can’t close. You’re the best around,’’ one con­sumer said.

The store opened in 1953 as a fruit and veg­etable shop, and started sell­ing fish and chips and other prod­ucts af­ter two years.

Though there has been changes of own­ers, it has car­ried its present name since the 1960s.

Present own­ers John and Daisy Pat­tan feel it’s ‘‘heart­break­ing’’, but they have to go be­cause they’re un­able to re­new the lease with the land­lord, who says ‘‘there is a ma­jor is­sue with the roof’’ that needs to be fixed.

’’I’m gut­ted. I’m so sad it’s clos­ing, and I’m the per­son that has to close it. I don’t like to do that, but it does hap­pen,’’ John says.

The cou­ple took over the shop in 2013 and feel proud that ‘‘every­body re­lies on it’’.

Daisy says their years at El Paso have been good, but they have to move on.

‘‘You wake up in the morn­ing. You serve your cus­tomers. You share your thoughts. They share their thoughts. You be­come good friends in that pe­riod of time,’’ she says.

David Cole, 64, who works in Karaka and lived in the area, says his par­ents used to bring him to the shop when he was a young lad in the mid-1960s.

Af­ter fish­ing close by, they of­ten went there for fish and chips. His chil­dren, who are now adults, grew up get­ting fish and chips there too.

‘‘It’s been a lit­tle bit of in­sti­tu­tion for the lo­cals. It’s dis­ap­point­ing that a lo­cal shop like this is go­ing af­ter hav­ing a long rep­u­ta­tion,’’ Cole says.

Neigh­bours, friends and some close cus­tomers of El Paso cooked a bar­be­cue to say good­bye to the Pat­tans and farewell the longestab­lished store, in front of the shop af­ter its clo­sure on the day.

El Paso business own­ers John and Daisy Pat­tan feel it’s ‘‘heart­break­ing’’, but they have to move.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.