Are you ready to live más? A Taco Bell that serves alcohol -- the first in the D.C. area -- is headed to Old Town Alexandria. Taco Bell Cantina received approval from the Alexandria City Council on Saturday to open a location at 417 King St.
The fast-food joint will "mix the traditional Taco Bell fare with new shareable menu items and alcoholic beverages including freezes, beer and wine," a permit request to the city says.
Here's where the Taco Bell Cantina is set to open, just next to the Irish gift shop The Irish Walk, steps from where the weekly farmers market is held and four blocks from the waterfront.
Taco Bell hasn't released a menu yet for the Alexandria location. But when the first Taco Bell Cantina location in the country opened in Chicago in 2015, they served Twisted Freeze frozen drinks in three flavors: Mountain Dew Baja Blast (blue-green) Cantina Punch (red) and Margarita (yellow). Then, patrons could get tequila, rum or vodka added.
Taco Bell says the restaurant will fit in with the historic neighborhood. "We want to make sure these Cantinas blend in with the local aesthetic and you feel like you’re in your favorite neighborhood restaurant," Taco Bell said in a statement to News4. Here's what the Chicago location looked like when it opened.
The fast-food restaurant is set to be open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, with 52 seats inside and 20 seats outside. The outdoor space must close at 11 p.m., city officials said.
Washington Business Journal was first to report on the city's approval. Some Old Town residents wanted Taco Bell to stay out, citing concerns about noise, trash and disorder. "This is not the type of restaurant we want in Old Town. (The Subway is already awful!) This is a huge chain that will create unsightly crowds and trash and nuisance," one resident wrote in a public comment. Others said the area already has plenty of restaurants and bars that stay open late, and that Old Town needs more low-cost restaurants.Taco Bell previously planned to open a Cantina location on Duke Street in Alexandria, about three miles west, but they dropped their plans after neighbors expressed their concerns.
Taco Bell is planning to open at least 300 urban locations by 2022, the company said. A majority of these restaurants will be Taco Bell Cantinas that serve alcohol. The locations don't have drive-thrus, and no alcohol can be taken off the premises.
nThe opening date for the Alexandria location is still to be determined, a Taco Bell representative said.