The signage says Village Inn and the color scheme is the familiar VI orange, but that’s about to change.

If you’ve dropped by the Village Inn at 2929 N. Mesa near the University of Texas El Paso because you were in the mood for breakfast food or a slice of pie you no doubt found it was closed.

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A note taped to the front door and the side window states the location is “temporarily closed for remodel” but that they’ll “see you soon,” and a peek inside reveals an empty display case where the pies used to beckon and tempt you from.


When they see you again, though, it will be as its new incarnation.

While there is no mention of the transformation coming on any of the messages, the local owners have broken up with the Village Inn franchise and are striking out on their own as Butter Smith Kitchen & Pies.

The one on Zaragoza is already operating as a Butter Smith, and renovations of the west side location just off I-10 are nearing completion. By all indications the UTEP-area location is next.

A notice of an application to sell and consume alcoholic beverages on premises is the tip-off as part of the plan of this new concept the VI’s are evolving into is that Butter Smith Kitchen & Pies will sell brew, vino, and mimosas. The menu, in case you're wondering, is very similar to Village Inn's.

The major difference is the sale of alcohol.


So, with the UTEP location temporarily closed and the Crossroads location on the other side of Mesa scheduled to make its Butter Smith Kitchen & Pies debut on July 21, westsiders craving one of Village Inn’s signature skillets, pancake stacks, or pies will have to do so at the one on N. Mesa and Balboa by Burlington.

For now, because eventually every Village Inn in El Paso and Las Cruces will transform into a Butter Smith.

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