Haskins House to open in April
Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
Don Haskins’ coaching career—from 1961 to 1999—left a lasting impression on UTEP’s basketball team and that of the campus itself. With the Haskins House restaurant opening in April, Haskins’ legacy will continue to be commemorated in the El Paso community.
Mary Haskins, wife of the late Don Haskins, said that this new restaurant is an exciting opportunity for both El Paso and her family.
“Even where they located it, at the shopping center (across from Luby’s) is so UTEPy,” Mary Haskins said. “The Bhutanese architecture fits in very well.”
The Haskins House Restaurant will be located at 3800 N. Mesa St.—where Carousel used to be.
“We had problems when we first tried opening this restaurant at the parking garage on Glory Road,” said Steven Haskins, son of the late Don Haskins and collaborator with the Haskins House restaurant. “It didn’t work out because of ventilation so I’m excited to see this take place.”
Gerardo Carrion, manager for 30 years in the restaurant business and business partner with the Haskins family, said that they wanted to open a restaurant that was attached to the roots of the El Paso people.
“This restaurant will identify the community,” Carrion said. “It will identify what a true legend is and Don Haskins was a true legend.”
Carrion said that the restaurant will serve American food with a touch of the Southwest. Serving the usual small, medium and large-sized combos, the restaurant will also offer a size called “The Bear,” a nickname given to Don Haskins. The Bear size is a larger portion of food.
Haskins will not be just a sports bar, it will also be a family restaurant. Aside from the televisions placed around the restaurant, there will be a patio for outside dining and a museum dedicated to Don “The Bear” Haskins and El Paso.
“The museum will show citizens of El Paso and others who come to visit who we are and what El Paso stands for,” Carrion said. “There will be pictures of tournaments, t-shirts, trophies and mural done by Manuel Piña who is a teacher here in town.”
The mural will consist of a collage of pictures taken throughout Don Haskins’ career at UTEP.
“There will be orange and blue all over the restaurant,” Carrion said. “This is the place to be a part of and call home because the people we have hired for this project are those with expertise in UTEP and in the city.”
For Georgina Arzate, sophomore English and American Literature major, the closing of Carousel was due to their slow pace of customers but the Haskins House restaurant will prove otherwise.
“I’m all about supporting local business, corporate places are my last resort,” Arzate said.
Steve Haskins said that on top of outside dining, the patio will also be used for a sports expo, smoking, selling memorabilia on Don Haskins and radio stations to broadcast.
Having local bands play on the patio is not set in stone, according to Steve Haskins. However, it is something that is in the works and may happen after the restaurant has opened.
“When you walk into the restaurant, there will be a plaque,” Steve Haskins said. “It is something that everyone will be able to see and it will honor him. My dad would be proud of leaving his legacy; I’m really happy for this place and I’m really excited for the whole family to go.”
Lorain Watters may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.