El Paso, meet Lotaburger.
The popular Albuquerque-based hamburger chain will open its new El Paso restaurant the first week of January, according to a company executive.
It will be the only Blake’s Lotaburger located outside of New Mexico — at least for now. A second El Paso location is planned for the spring.
Craig Wood, business development manager for Blake’s, has said the El Paso market represents a natural progression for the 61-year-old company.
Blake’s currently operates 76 locations around New Mexico, including several in the nearby Las Cruces area.
The new El Paso store — at 7017 N. Mesa — will operate like every other Blake’s, Wood said, getting its beef patties from the same Albuquerque commissary and offering the same flavor as the New Mexico stores, right down to the Hatch green chile.
As in New Mexico restaurants, the layout allows customers to watch staff prepare the meals.
“No sense in change,” Wood said.
While much remains the same — including the familiar Lotaman mascot smiling down from the restaurant’s sign — the 2,000-square-foot El Paso location will showcase the brand’s physical evolution.
The lobby features some of the company’s newest amenities and upgrades. That includes a digital menu board and a “legacy wall” peppered with Blake’s advertising slogans and a flashing screen showing old restaurant photos, Blake’s historical facts, and Lotaburger-related Facebook comments.
“It’s the nostalgic and the modern coming together,” Wood said of the new location.
The company is gradually introducing those elements in New Mexico as it remodels existing locations, Wood said.