Foodservice Equipment Reports

Taco Bell To Offer Beer With Its Chalupas

Taco Bell wants to take its “Live Más” motto to a new level and let its customers drink a toast to their tacos.

The 6,500-unit chain has applied for a liquor license for a unit soon to open in Chicago. The store will have a completely new, urban design in the city’s north-side Wicker Park neighborhood. The Chicago Sun-Times quoted the neighborhood’s alderman, stating he would ask the city’s liquor commissioner to take a “hard look” at the chain’s application.

The permit is for Taco Bell, not the fast-casual offshoot U.S. Taco Co., which launched last year in Huntington Beach, Calif., and serves alcohol, including milkshakes spiked with beer. A number of fast-casual Mexican operators offer beer, wine or agave-based margaritas, including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Rubio’s and Lime Fresh Mexican Grill.

Earlier this year, Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol said the Irvine, Calif., chain hopes to expand by building smaller, in-line urban units with roughly half the footprint of a traditional 3,000-sq.-ft. store and without a drive-thru window.

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