Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dave's Pawn Shop, 216 South El Paso Street

Dave's Pawn Shop is one of the most fascinating places in El Paso. Outside the store, you'll be greeted by Elvis and Elwood and Jake Blues. Vintage Presley croons over the store's loudspeaker. In the windows, there are skulls, snakes, mannequins, watches and the classic "Trigger Finger of Pancho Villa" and "Heart of a Baby Vampire" props (and they DO look real!). Inside, the store is a true antiquarium, and would certainly be right in place for a Tom Waits video. Skeletons (yes, these ones ARE real), watches, cameras, vintage musical equipment, Nazi paraphernalia, stuffed and mounted animals, voodoo items — there's so much to see and so little room to see it. The cashiers' area is behind a vintage bank vault. Definitely make Dave's Pawn Shop a visit — it's the kind of place that makes downtown El Paso so fascinating.

Another interesting fact: Dave’s Pawn Shop is El Paso’s last surviving false-front structure. The one-part commercial building is a simple box with a decorated wood fa├žade and cornice. The architectural style of small, pitched-roof buildings with false fronts created the commercial core of the new western towns during the mid-19th century. The original decorative cornice can still be seen above the remodeled store front.
—paragraph from the City of El Paso's Walking Tour of Downtown. See link below, which shows a picture of the building from the 1880s. Photos taken October 11, 2006.

Walking Tour of El Paso - False Front


Nel Pastel said...

That's crazy - I lived there most of my life, saw that pawn shop a million times and had no idea it was 10 kinds of awesome.

Great photos, by the way! You're really capturing the things that make El Paso "El Paso" - it's nice to know they're not always overlooked.

Anonymous said...

I've walked by a lot dowtown, I don't like it much, creeps a nigga out.

El Paso said...

Cool article and very nice photography too. The pictures are so impressive - I don't think my eyes can see as clear as the pictures show it. =))

Anonymous said...

Never thought to google the place before developing an obsession. Thank you for the post. I will admit to being a pawn shop connosuier. This place is the best! I got a cool deer hoof knife there. The building history is great!

Mondo Loco said...

Luckily Dave's is still in business and insane inside as ever! They are now on Atlas Obscura!