Adios, El Paso, thanks for the fond memories
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.