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El Paso bar forced to stay closed as city decides the safety of the De Soto Hotel

EL PASO, Texas — It’s been almost one week since the fire at the De Soto Hotel, and one bar is still waiting to get the thumbs from the city to reopen its doors for business. 

The Reagan, an El Paso bar and restaurant, has kept their doors closed for almost a week. They are just feet away from the De Soto, the hotel that burst into flames last week.

ABC-7 was allowed access inside the bar to assess the damage. The biggest thing was water damage that had warped the floors. Water from the firefighters’ hoses had seeped through the roof at The Reagan and onto their floors. Falling bricks also damaged their A/C units. 

“Physical things, material things can all be replaced, we just want to make sure everyone is safe,” Hector Saenz, the general manager of the bar, explained. 

The bar has been forced to stay closed because of its proximity to the hotel. Gas lines and electrical lines are running in the alley between the two buildings. The city is checking on the structural integrity of the building. They have to decide if it’s safe enough to keep the building standing. No decision has been made as of Thursday. The bar will have to stay closed until the city deems the building safe. 

The bar is also taking a financial hit. According to, The Reagan made $127,908 in December on alcohol sales. If we divide that by the number of days in the month, The Reagan was averaging about $4,126 a day. If we take that number and multiply it by the number of days they have stayed close due to the fire, 6 in total, it equates to about $24,756 the bar is missing out on alcohol sales. 

Saenz says the bar is not too worried. They have taken the time to make adjustments to their business when they reopen their doors. 

“We’re the type of people that the life hands you lemons make lemonade, maybe put some vodka in the lemonade,” Saenz explained. 

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Dylan McKim


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