Taco Bell Cantina Restaurants to Open in Chicago and San Francisco;
New Design Offers Local Feel, Shared Appetizers and Alcohol Options
IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Taco Bell is dropping the drive-thru, opening its kitchens and using
technology to create a new experience as the brand expands into urban
The new design focuses on simplifying and modernizing the restaurant
experience and bringing forward an atmosphere as unique as the community
in which it serves. The first of these restaurants—called Taco Bell
Cantina—will open in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago on Tuesday,
September 22, and the second will open in San Francisco later this month.
Taco Bell has a history of development innovation. Founder Glen Bell was
an architectural pioneer who differentiated Taco Bell by designing each
initial restaurant with easily identifiable mission-style architecture.
Bell’s legacy continues to drive the brand’s vision today in creating a
new restaurant concept that meets the needs of the next generation of
Taco Bell fans.
“These new urban restaurants are a critical part of our growth strategy
in markets where people experience our brand differently,” said Brian
Niccol, chief executive officer, Taco Bell Corp. “Today’s consumers are
living in more urban settings and our new restaurants cater to their
lifestyle in adapting our traditional restaurant concept to fit their
The Taco Bell Urban Concept incorporates five consumer trends that
balance relevancy and brand authenticity:
Urbanization: The Taco Bell Urban Restaurant Concept reflects
the Millennial trend of seeking more urban environments to live, work
and play. These restaurants are ideally suited to fit in with
pedestrian areas without drive-thrus.
Digitization: Every point of the customer’s ordering journey is
optimized through technology, including digital menu boards, TV
monitors and Taco Bell mobile ordering and payment app pick up.
Localization: Taco Bell incorporated the local architecture of
the neighborhoods each restaurant serves.
The Wicker Park restaurant’s brick walls and prismatic glass were
restored to help preserve the 100-year-old building. The location
also features a mural designed by local artist, Revise CMW, which
serves as a nod to the neighborhood’s history as an artistic hub.
The San Francisco restaurant, located near AT&T Park, features a
patio and mobile pick-up window to cater to the quick pace, tech
savvy and vibrant community.
- The Wicker Park restaurant’s brick walls and prismatic glass were
Green: The new urban locations will be more energy efficient
with systems including LED lighting, use of reclaimed elements where
possible and recycling.
Transparency: An open kitchen design and food served in open
face baskets gives customers a look inside Taco Bell’s quality
Taco Bell Cantina restaurants will be the first and only Taco Bell
restaurants to serve alcohol to customers who are of legal drinking age.
The San Francisco restaurant will serve beer and wine only, while Wicker
Park will serve beer, wine, sangria and twisted Freezes. 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.
As part of Taco Bell’s overall growth plan, the brand is on a path to
add 2,000 stores to its portfolio by 2022. Expansion plans for
additional urban markets are currently being evaluated as Taco Bell is
striving to build or remodel around 600 restaurants per year, providing
600 opportunities to do something different and impact the customer
About Taco Bell Corp.
Bell Corp., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE: YUM), is the
nation’s leading Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant. Taco Bell
serves made to order and customizable tacos, burritos, and specialties
such as the exclusive Doritos® Locos Tacos, high-protein Cantina Power®
Menu and lower in calorie Fresco
Menu. Taco Bell Breakfast offers portable, classic items such as the
A.M. Crunchwrap®, Biscuit Taco and signature burritos. The company
encourages customers to “Live Más,” both through its food and in ways
such as its Feed
The Beat® music program and its nonprofit organization, the Taco
for Teens™. Taco Bell and its more than 350 franchise organizations
have more than 6,000 restaurants across the United States that proudly
serve more than 42 million customers every week.