What could be one of 2018’s best feel-good stories happens today as Yum! Brands opened its new Taco Bell that’s replacing the beloved and soon-to-be demolished location near Wrigley Field. The new restaurant, 920 W. Belmont Avenue, opened Thursday morning and offers the chain’s latest urban design and layout.
Yum!, which includes Pizza Hut and KFC, persevered after new development surrounding Wrigley Field doomed the Taco Bell at 1111 W. Addison Street. The 24-year-old fast-food restaurant is scheduled for demolition on November 1, to be replaced by a climbing wall gym. Over the last three years, construction has transformed the area with new additions such as the Hotel Zachary. Old-guard businesses, like Taco Bell, have felt the threat of being pushed out by the new as the Ricketts family — which owns the Cubs — and others makeover Wrigleyville. Fans already mourned the loss of the McDonald’s across the street from the stadium as crews razed the restaurant to make room for the Hotel Zachary. A replacement McDonald’s opened inside that new building.
Taco Bell spent at least a year looking at locations to replace the Addison Street restaurant. They looked at property at the corner of Sheffield and Belmont before Chicago Real Estate Resources negotiated a lease and found them the former Muscle Maker Grill spot.
The Addison Street Taco Bell holds a special place for many Cubs fans. Some are skeptical that the new location, which is technically in Lakeview, not Wrigleyville, is too far away from the stadium and won’t carry the same magic. Wrigleyville dive Nisei Lounge is hosting a wake for the Addison Street location later this month. As of Thursday at 2 p.m., 255 Facebook users have RSVP’ed for the October 28 event.
While there’s a wake scheduled, those who need a pick-me up to stave off a hangover afterward can just walk a bit further to the new Taco Bell for some late-night chalupas. The new Lakeview Taco Bell is now open.
Taco Bell, 920 W. Belmont Avenue, open 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.