Taco Bell officials have confirmed they plan on serving alcoholic drinks at their upcoming Wicker Park location, set to open sometime this summer. The restaurant features an urban design seen at Taco Bell restaurants in Tokyo, Seoul and the United Kingdom, according to a news release. Chicago is the first domestic site for the modern design and the sale of booze, with TB saying the site fits its desired demographics.
They'll pour beer, wine and boozed-up freezes, and drinking will be restricted to inside the restaurant. They're also employing a new cup design that will distinguish between alcoholic- and non-alcoholic drinks.
The Wicker Park spot is trying to go fast-casual, as customers can order from one of three registers at the counter. They'll retain Taco Bell's core menu with a few new items "to keep the brand relevant." Expect to see more items served in baskets and open-faced. The restaurant will feature more of an open kitchen, as there's plexiglass to show customers how their food's made, and Taco Bell wants to increase transparency on how they prepare their food. It sounds like a similar tactic to what McDonald's campaign to inform customers what's in their burgers. There's no word if this TB will serve breakfast, which would place further tension on fast-food burger/taco relations.
The interior renderings feature lots of exposed brick and as well as many hallmarks not seen at most fast-food restaurants. They're using reclaimed materials and more efficient LED lighting part of an environmental-friendly effort. The company is also touting an energy-efficient heating and cooling system, and they'll encourage recycling in the dining room and kitchen.