Taco Bell gave its customers a taste of what’s to come when it opened its new location that will serve alcohol in Chicago’s trendy Wicker Park neighborhood.
On Tuesday, the location opened to the public and began serving food, but will not be offering hard drinks until Sept. 22.
This is the first time that the chain is breaking out a liquor license, but it is not an unfamiliar concept to their Tex-Mex rival Chipotle. The new Taco Bell locations are being branded as “Cantinas,” with the company making a shift away from its traditional drive-through stigma.
The new Catina locations will serve drink creations that can be spiked with one ounce of either tequila, vodka or rum, the Chicago Tribune reports. In addition they will have Stack Wine, which are individual portions of wine that have easy removable tops. The hope in both these two methods is to have portion control over how much their customers are consuming.
Booze isn’t the only addition to the menu. The company is seeking to change its marketing techniques, now serving dine-in food in thin plastic bins instead of disposable bags. The menu will also feature new appetizer foods served tapas style in the hopes of being perceived as less of a fast food chain.
Taco Bell is also changing up its look inside the restaurant by hiring a local Chicago graffiti artist named Won Kim to paint a mural along one of the walls inside the new establishment, according to USA Today. When asked about working for the chain, Kim said, “At first, I was a little resistant to agreeing to work for this big corporation, but I knew if I didn’t do it, they’d find some 21-year-old to take the job.”
The restaurant is striving to achieve more transparency with the preparation of food by allowing customers visibility to see how its food is prepared. The kitchen is designed to be completely open so you can watch them cook everything start to finish. With all these new changes being undertaken, there is a lot of excitement to see how well the first one does.