Conceptually, the owners of The Crate Bar and Pallets – Flair Cocktails were drawing from the same eco-friendly well of inspiration when starting their ventures. Though the specific inspirations differ, their paths lead them to the same place. If downtown is a hub for business coalescence, innovation and forward-thinking, then these two businesses fit in perfectly.
The Crate Bar
Marco Andrade, 29, owner of The Crate Bar on 316 S. Santa Fe St., always new that owning a bar was in the cards for him, “I have a degree in Kinesiology but have always known that once an opportunity presented itself, this is the route I wanted to take.”
General Manager, Christine Torres has known Andrade since high school –now in a relationship, the two have paired to run The Crate Bar.
“We paid our own way through college and put off owning a bar until we graduated. We have that sense of satisfaction, but we felt it was the right time, plus we still have our [education] as a back-up,” said Andrade.
The pair felt that keeping it local, rustic, and eco-friendly keeps the business grounded and humble. “We just want to make a living but still provide good beer,” said Andrade.
“We love the rustic look, and wood blends well with the design while still being eco-friendly. The crates are recycled, and we also feel it’s important to give some of the local micro-breweries exposure, and feature their beers,” said Andrade.
“Craft beer drinkers aren’t looking to drink the same beers on a daily basis, so we try to give the local beers exposure but in an affordable way,” said Andrade.
Looking around the bar, you see fleeting elements of what used to be the Night Owl Pub, but what worked for the Night Owl, may not be what works for The Crate Bar. The space still feels welcoming, warm, rustic, but Andrade and Torres plan to open the patio up, and install windows on the façade street-side.
Andrade told us, “We are adding light and life by opening the patio, and trying to get away from being the type of bar you’d see in this location 20 years ago.”
The Crate Bar on 316 S. Santa Fe St. (915) 204-3787
Pallets – Flair Cocktails
Luis Carlos Camacho, 29, owner of Pallets – Flair Cocktails (204 Mills Ave. Ste C) is a trained chef, food service consultant, and once worked for Shamrock Foods for several years. The young entrepreneur is eager to make a mark in the restaurant and bar scene of El Paso. From concept to execution, Camacho is enthusiastic about explaining the inception of an idea to its fruition.
“We try to think outside the box, in everything from our approach in customer service to how we market to customers,” said Camacho.
Rooted in eco-friendly awareness, and community minded execution, Camacho is set on not only attracting business but giving back. “We’re a company that not only tries to give back to the community but have made every effort to purchase locally sourced items. Everything except our chairs and stools was locally designed and made – you can’t find it anywhere else,” Camacho proudly shared.
“We shared the concept with the architects, and designers, then told them to create as if this was yours,” said Camacho.
The concept and design was strongly inspired by a rendering of what New York would look like after civilization ended, and nature began to reclaim the earth. “We used that image of plants coming back as inspiration,” said Camacho.
“We don’t just want to sell ourselves as a restaurant alone, but as an experience, where the service and ambiance are also a big part. We decided to also cater to the female market, and you can see that in the décor, food, and music we’ve selected,” said Camacho.
“The food is fresh, casual fine-dining with a healthy twist. People are starting to take care of their bodies more and more so we chose to create a menu that is consistent with that,” said Camacho.
“We loved the idea of bringing downtown back to life, and there are huge opportunities to do this. We want to support the people that work and live here,” said Camacho.
Pallets – Flair Cocktails 204 Mills Ave. (915) 313-7120