Yesterday I was walking downtown when I saw something interesting on the north entrance of the Popular Department Store Building, which was designed by Trost & Trost and completed in 1917.

The building owner, Fallas Paredes, posted a notice to the doors announcing “GRAND OPENING THURSDAY OCTOBER 1st” with the hours “Mon-Sat 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, Sun 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.”

Also posted were a series of flyers with the words “FALLAS GROCERY, First place to shop… First place to save!”

Peering through the windows of the north, west, and south entrances, there is no apparent activity or evidence of any renovations. It still looks like a retail department store inside.

A quick search on the internet reveals that Fallas Paredes began converting at least some of its retail stories into discount groceries since early last year.

There has been much talk about the need for a grocery store in downtown El Paso, and if the notices on the Popular Department Store Building are true, then it is actually happening.

But will this mean that the company is planning to restore the building? They have owned it since the 1990s and have allowed it to deteriorate badly, so don’t hold your breath.