Most people who have walked the Union Plaza District have passed the Rock House located at 400 West Overland. The building is owned by Mike Patino, a freelance photographer and entrepreneur with a Masters degree in engineering. Meeting Mike if nothing else will always be a memorable experience. Outspoken, honest, passionate about the city and his Downtown street corner in particular, Mike will gladly share his vast knowledge of Downtown history.
Maybe this passion is what prompted him to purchase the properties that consist of the Rock House and the private home attached to it. Mike purchased the home from former El Paso Mayor (1961-1963) Ralph Seitsinger a handful of years ago. Since then Mike has championed the underground art scene any way he can. Providing the Rock House for art shows and underground concerts, giving local talent a chance to cut their teeth in their craft by playing for appreciative listeners.
Last Thursdays offers Mike another opportunity to celebrate the arts in his own unique way. When arriving to the show, it’s almost as if you are arriving at the home of a family member who happens to be throwing a party. The energy is communal while still kinetic. The band Papaya Riot, (a predominantly female band) played folk rock covers that were peppered with the band’s own unique flavor.
A new mural painted outside The Rock House titled Sol City was unveiled during the Last Thursdays event. The mural painted by Gabriel S. Gaytan, a muralist painted the pillars underneath the freeway near Lincoln park adding a chicano influence that is clearly pervasive at The Rock House.
“We are the grassroots of Downtown”, said Mike Patino as he prepared for the last Art Walk of the year.