First Taco Bell Restaurant ‘Numero Uno’ Saved From Demolition, Moved To New Address

The first Taco Bell restaurant, referred to as “Numero Uno,” has been rescued by the fast food chain from being demolished.

According to the Portland Press Herald, the original Taco Bell restaurant was opened in 1962 by founder Glen Bell, and featured a walk-up taco stand with live music and fire pits. The first Taco Bell, located at 7112 Firestone Boulevard in Downey, California, closed in 1986, and the building was then occupied by another restaurant.

In January, Taco Bell heard of Downey’s plans to demolish the building after it became vacant last year because a drive-thru could not be installed to bring it to corporate standards. To save “Numero Uno” from becoming a pile of rubble, the taco chain decided to move the building. That’s right — the 53-year-old structure, which measures approximately 400 square feet, will be taking a road trip to a new location. The building will be relocated to Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine, California, a 45-mile road trip, where it will be placed in storage until the company can decide what to do with it.

“This is arguably the most important restaurant in our company’s history,” Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol said in a statement.

The move will take place on Thursday, November 19, and will kick off at 10:30 p.m., according to Fox News. Taco Bell started off their campaign to save the structure by taking to social media. Using the hashtag #SaveTacoBell, the company reached out to their supporters, asking them to help save “Numero Uno.” The company also worked closely with We Are the Next, which is an organization that strives to “create a sense of place and promote civic engagement by embedding historic cultural resources in our everyday lives.”

“Our work encourages the understanding that historic places demonstrate our complex and significant cultural backgrounds. These places can be a valuable, sustainable resource,” the organization’s website reads. “Practicing adaptive reuse, we manage the conversion of unexpected buildings into thriving community resources, ensuring their survival through appreciation and economic stability.”

Katie Rispoli, executive director of We Are The Next, released a statement, explaining the importance of the first Taco Bell restaurant.

“This building wasn’t designed by a famous architect, and it’s not particularly beautiful in the conventional sense. But it does demonstrate how even the most ordinary buildings can tell tremendous stories,” Rispoli said.

Through the work of the company and the organization, “Numero Uno” will be finding a new home. Taco Bell fans can even catch a glimpse of the restaurant as it makes its great adventure.

There will be watch points at the following Taco Bell locations:

  • 7127 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA 90241
  • 1075 N. Tustin Ave, Anaheim, CA 92807
  • 2233 N. Tustin St., Orange, CA 92865
  • 490 N. Tustin St., Orange, CA 92867
  • 1 Glen Bell Way, Irvine, CA 92618 (Taco Bell headquarters)

Fans of the fast food restaurant are also being encouraged to share the event on social media using the hashtag #SaveTacoBell. They are also being asked to weigh in on what should happen to “Numero Uno.”

“Our fans helped make us who we are, and we feel they should be involved in the future of the building where it all started,” Marisa Thalberg, Taco Bell Corp.’s chief brand engagement officer, said.

Taco Bell is now owned by Yum Brands Inc., which is based in Louisville, Kentucky.

What do you think should happen to the first Taco Bell restaurant, “Numero Uno?” Leave your comments below.

[Image via Shutterstock]