Taco Bell Could Start Serving Alcohol Soon — When And Where?

A new Taco Bell is slated to open this summer in Wicker Park, a trendy neighborhood in Chicago, but it won’t be any ordinary Taco Bell. Boasting a unique design, you might be able to buy alcohol there as well. Breaking the news first, Eater reports Taco Bell has applied for a liquor license, which, if approved, would make this location the first worldwide to serve alcohol to its customers. A spokesperson for the city of Chicago’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection confirmed a liquor license application has indeed been submitted for the location of the new Taco Bell at 1439 N. Milwaukee.

In an article from September 2012, Forbes listed Wicker Park as one of “hippest hipster neighborhoods” in the country. The location of the future Taco Bell is an area known for new business development to serve the white-collar workers who live there.

Besides the potential sale of alcohol, the Wicker Park Taco Bell will have a unique design, a spokesperson told the Huffington Post.

“We’re building a completely new urban restaurant design in Wicker Park, and will have more information available closer to our opening this Summer.”

In the past, Taco Bell had plans to begin serving alcohol-spiked milkshakes at the U.S. Taco Co. — its upscale Huntington Beach, California, location which serves tacos with high-quality ingredients such as lobster and grilled mahi-mahi. Taco Bell wasn’t able to secure a liquor license, and the plans were postponed.

Back in February, there were rumors that the U.S. Taco Co. was going to be built at Wicker Park, but a spokesperson for Yum! Brands, which owns Taco Bell, stated that the restaurant will be a Taco Bell. At this time there’s only one U.S. Taco Co. location, but there could be more in the future.

If the Chicago location does obtain a liquor license, what kind of alcohol will be served? The Huffington Post reports the most likely answer consists of drinks such as wine, margaritas, and bottles of Mexican beer.

Alcohol could boost Taco Bell’s sales and help the restaurant compete with other restaurants nearby. According to the Chicago Tribune, the new Wicker Park Taco Bell will have plenty of competition with taco spots including Big Star, Takito Kitchen, and Antique Taco. More new restaurants with “hip designs” will be opened in the future in an effort to revamp the brand, and some locations will include open kitchens.

Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol told Nation’s Restaurant News back in March, “I know a lot of people are talking about creating modern fast-food brands, and a lot are trying. But we’re already on our way. We’re continuing to move Taco Bell into its own category.”

What do you think about Taco Bell serving alcohol?

[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]