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Taco Bell Wicker Park Could Become First in U.S. to Serve Booze

Yum! Brands says space will feature a new urban restaurant design unique to the chain.

Taco Bell opening in Japan, which doesn't serve alcohol
Taco Bell opening in Japan, which doesn't serve alcohol
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

That Taco Bell planned for Wicker Park won't be so run of the mill after all. Management's applied for a liquor license, which would make it the first Bell in the world to serve alcohol with Doritos Locos Tacos and other menu items. A Yum! Brands spokeswoman added that The Bell's also planning a "completely new urban restaurant design" for the Wicker Park space.

Taco Bell had considered selling alcohol at other locations in the past. There were plans to offer boozy milkshakes at U.S. Taco Co. — TB's upscale concept in California that features lobster tacos and other premium items that no Fourth Meal eater has ever had at a regular Taco Bell — but those plans were postponed.

Back in February there were rumblings that only the second U.S. Taco Co. would land in the Wicker Park space at 1439 N. Milwaukee Ave., but a Yum! Brands rep shot that rumor down at the time, saying the Wicker Park restaurant would be a normal Taco Bell. But booze and this "completely new design" are anything but normal. The rep wouldn't offer up anymore details at this time.

Is Taco Bell dipping their tortillas in the same salsa as other upscale taco slingers in the area like Antique Taco and Big Star? And what types of alcoholic beverages would Taco Bell Wicker Park serve? The boozy milkshakes they had planned for U.S. Taco Co. or something different, perhaps margaritas with Doritos dust on the rim? Stay tuned—the restaurant is slated to open sometime this summer.