Taco Bell announced plans to open more than 300 new Cantina locations around the United States that will serve alcohol. The Cantina stores aren't brand new, and already exist in a handful of lucky, lucky larger cities like Chicago, San Francisco, Austin, and of course, Sin City, at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip.
The cantina-style locations offer all of the usual Taco Bell menu favorites, along with beer, wine, sangria, margaritas, and liquor-spiked Twisted Freezes in a hip, open-kitchen setting. According to a company statement,
"Taco Bell Cantina restaurants will be the first and only Taco Bell restaurants to serve alcohol to customers who are of legal drinking age. Cantina restaurants will also feature a new tapas-style menu of shareable appetizers -- including nachos and rolled tacos -- during designated hours each evening, in addition to the full standard Taco Bell Menu."
These fast-food locations, however, will trade in one feature for their new booze service and the fancy digital menu boards. No locations will offer a drive-thru, a first for the fast-food chain. Taco Bell locations are most known colloquially for being the late night Fourth Meal hot spot after a night on the town, but now patrons who wish to keep on partying will have to take up a seat inside the restaurant.
The move to decrease drive-thrus is surprising since from 55 to 70 percent of the brand's business comes from on-the-go diners. The new locations are scheduled to open by 2022 in larger American cities and hip, youthful urban areas like Nashville, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Boston and New York. Some 50 locations are being planned throughout the Big Apple's five boroughs, to add to the over 6,000 locations in America currently.