At least one new Taco Bell, in Chicago’s Wicker Park, is slated to begin serving alcoholic beverages.
The prominent fast food chain and frequent rumor target Taco Bell became the subject of another claim this week, that the restaurant chain will begin serving alcohol alongside their Cheesy Beefy Roll-Ups and Gorditas during the summer of 2015.
Unlike rumors holding that Taco Bell is closing due to their use of cat and dog meat (false), or that they purchase “Grade D but edible meat” (false), or that they would be shuttering all their U.S. locations (also false), the rumor that Taco Bell will soon be serving alcohol (at least at some select locations) is actually true. In mid-May 2015 word began to spread across food blogs about Taco Bell’s foray into alcoholic menu offerings, although the information was tentative (based upon Yum! Brands’ application for a liquor license).
On 3 June 2015, the Chicago Tribune confirmed that a planned Taco Bell outlet in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood would include alcoholic beverages of unspecified description on their menu:
You’ll be able to find out for yourself this summer. Taco Bell has confirmed earlier reports that the soon-to-open Wicker Park location, at 1439 N. Milwaukee Ave., will serve beer, wine and boozy “freezes,” according to a spokesperson for the brand.
While the notion of beer, wine, or cocktails at Taco Bell might sound implausible, fast-casual competitor Chipotle has long served a limited selection of beer and mixed drinks at outlets across the U.S. That could be part of the chain’s planning process, as the Tribune described other Chipotle-like features at the Wicker Park Taco Bell in question:
The interior, similar to designs launched at Taco Bells in Tokyo, Seoul and the U.K. that also serve alcohol, will feature exposed brick walls, murals, communal tables with wooden stools and pops of accent colors such as bright purple and teal.
The Los Angeles Times also confirmed the news but was unable to obtain additional information:
The restaurant testing the drinks in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood is operated by a franchisee, who plans to monitor the alcohol sales through a third-party service.
A Taco Bell representative did not have more information on specific alcoholic drinks at this time.
Alcoholic beverages at the Wicker Park Taco Bell will be served in designated cups separate from those used for soft drinks, and the offerings will include “mixed alcohol freezes.” And though it’s true that one Taco Bell location is adding alcohol to its menu, no indication suggests the chain plans to do so nationwide.