CLEVELAND -- It's not like most Taco Bells, it's a cool Taco Bell. With booze.
Also read, Taco Bell Canada will add beer to the menu in 2017.
That's how the new Taco Bell Cantina has been described since the project was first revealed about a year ago. The restaurant finally opens it doors to the public on Wednesday.
"We couldn't be more happy to be here in Cleveland," Taco Bell spokesperson Matt Prince said. "We're excited to bring 50 new jobs here to the community. There's been a lot of things going on in the community, building up the area. So, this is just a great place for us to be."
The location is just one of six Taco Bell restaurants in the country where you can order alcohol. But that's not the only thing unique about it.
"When you walk in, I think you'll notice this looks different than any other Taco Bell you've been inside," Prince said.
He's right. You won't find the plastic chairs, laminate tables and cushioned booths of the typical Taco Bell here. Instead, there are rich, wood tables, industrial-style chairs and high ceilings. A long communal table with a funky light fixture overlooks the open kitchen. There's also a large digital board that displays customers' social media posts and flatscreens to catch the game on.
There are nods to Cleveland throughout the space as well, including a huge cityscape carved out of wood on one of the walls, and a "Taco Bell loves Cleveland" sign in big bold letters above the menu board.
"You'll get a touch of Cleveland when you walk in here and that's a big part of this restaurant."
The Cantina serves the same menu as other Taco Bells including breakfast. But in addition to the familiar lineup of burritos, tacos, and crunchwraps, the Cantina also serves tapas-style appetizers meant for sharing.
The Cantina offers three flavors of its frozen drinks, dubbed Twisted Freezes. Available with or without alcohol, there's Prickly Pear, Baja Blast and a Spiked Lemonade Margarita. Customers 21-and-over can spike the drinks with rum, tequila or vodka.
Beer is also available with Dos Equis, Miller Light and a local brew from Brew Kettle in Strongsville on tap. The restaurant says a local craft beer will always be part of the menu.
The project experienced a few delays. It was supposed to originally open in December before being pushed back to April. But once actual construction started, the build out took only about 60 days.
Expect to see the concept spread across the U.S. Taco Bell plans to open 300 new restaurants in urban settings and big cities over the next five years, with many of those being alcohol-serving Cantinas.
SOURCE Joey Morona, cleveland.com
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