We imagine that this particular menu will be popular with the late-night Taco Bell enthusiasts.
While most fast food chains are scrambling to rebrand their images as nutritious and health-conscious, Taco Bell is over here adding alcohol to their menu. We reported last week that Taco Bell had announced that they would be testing out some over 21 beverages, and this week a menu was confirmed by Thrillist. The Wicker Park Taco Bell in Chicago will serve “Twisted Freezes”: flavored slushies with added rum, tequila, or vodka. That’ll certainly make your Quesalupa a whole lot loopier.
Although the news isn’t official yet, and has not been confirmed by Taco Bell, the Wicker Park specials will include these “Twisted Freezes” as well as Corona beer, according to Thrillist. We’re hoping that one day Taco Bell will also graduate to giant margaritas to go along with our Doritos Locos tacos, but one can only dream. The business license does stipulate that alcoholic beverages would be served at the counter, so, sadly, Chicago’s Taco Bells won’t be installing bars anytime soon.
Here’s to hoping we’ll be able to “live (it up) mas” at Taco Bells across the nation soon.
First Taco Bell in Southern California to serve beer is opening in Newport Beach
The Mexican-inspired fast food chain is opening on Friday its first Taco Bell Cantina in Southern California. The standalone restaurant in Newport Beach, with no drive-through, is one of 11 cantinas launched by the Irvine-based chain, whose parent company is YUM Brands.
Taco Bell Cantina’s sharable seven-layer bean dip with its own Bell Beach Beer is served. The chain’s urban expansion with drive-through free restaurants has a soft opening in Newport Beach on Weds., Dec.13. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
It was spill-out-the-door packed as employees, friends and family attend a soft opening at Newport Beach’s Taco Bell Cantina on Weds., Dec.13. The chain plans to this particular franchise to 300 drive-thru free locations in the next 5 years. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Irvine-based Taco Bell will open a flagship restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip this fall. The new restaurant will be a Taco Bell Cantina, a concept the chain introduced last year.
Share? Taco Bell Cantina’s shareable menu is unique to the concept and not served at standard Taco Bells. The Newport Beach soft opening was held in a wedge-shaped spot that used to be occupied by a pizza joint Weds., Dec.13. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Taco Bell is opening its 11th Taco Bell Cantina in Newport Beach on Dec. 14, 2017. (Courtesy Taco Bell)
Twisted Freezes are sold at a Taco Bell Cantina restaurants. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Cheers. Jordan Lipp mugs with a Lagunitas IPA for date Jess Kirkman, Taco Bell creative director, at the soft opening of Newport Beach’s Taco Bell Cantina on Weds., Dec.13. Taco Bell-brand beer is also sold. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Newport Beach’s Taco Bell Cantina has a more modern vibe than its fast food counterpart. The art is by local artist. The soft opening was held Weds., Dec.13. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
After the crowd had left, Ed Diaz, area coach on right, leads a cheer, “Yes we can!” in Spanish. Christian Fanticola, president/owner, left, also chants during a soft opening at Newport Beach’s Taco Bell Cantina on Weds., Dec.13. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Taco Bell Cantina’s menu board offers Taco Bell brand beer and sharable which differs from Taco Bell on Weds., Dec.13. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
One for history. Christina Tsern, senior mgr. for Urban and Cantina Taco Bell, takes a picture of staff when it quieted down during a soft opening at Newport Beach’s Taco Bell Cantina on Weds., Dec.13. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Beer here. The First Taco Bell in Southern California to serves beer and had its soft opening in Newport Beach on Weds., Dec.13. Taco Bell Cantina is no drive thru. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Taco Bell Cantina serves beer. It’s soft opening was at the Newport Beach location Weds., Dec.13. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
The Cantina menu serves the same food as a regular Taco Bell with the addition of six shareable plates for $3, $4 and $5. The items include Cheesy Bacon Jalapeño Dippers and two different loaded nachos include the $4 homemade style nachos, shown left. (Nancy Luna, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Like its predecessors in Chicago and Las Vegas, the Newport Beach Peninsula cantina will serve booze-infused slushy drinks called Twisted Freezes. They will also pour Taco Bell’s first-ever branded beer — a collaboration with Huntington Beach-based Four Sons Brewing.
Dubbed Beach Bell, the Mexican-style amber lager was developed with a “unique flavor profile to enhance and compliment Taco Bell’s food and flavors,” the chain said. The light red beer will be available at the Newport Beach Cantina while supplies last.
The cantina concept is part of the company’s overall strategy to refresh the look of its stores as it opens new locations in urban areas. Each cantina rebels against cookie-cutter fast food design. Instead, each one embraces the surrounding community with unique decor, furniture and food.
“There will be no Taco Bell Cantinas that look exactly the same,” said Matt Prince, a Taco Bell spokesman.
In Newport Beach, the tiny storefront is steps away from the beach, facing landmark restaurant The Crab Cooker. It has a 14-seat bar made of partially reclaimed wood where diners can view the hustle and bustle of the iconic beach town through large bi-fold windows. Edison lights in clear globe shades provide plenty of illumination for Instagram addicted millennials.
Pastel colored murals with white polka dots — painted by local Volcom boardshorts artist Joe Frizzelle — blanket interior and exterior walls.
The Cantina menu serves the same food as a regular Taco Bell with the addition of six shareable plates for $3, $4 and $5. The items include Cheesy Bacon Jalapeño Dippers, two different loaded nachos, and Naked Chicken chips and potatoes smothered in bacon crumbles, ranch dressing and cheese. All food is served in black plastic baskets for sit down guests.
The big difference is the booze.
The restaurant serves three tap beers (Beach Bell exclusive, Lagunitas IPA, Modelo Especial) and 3 canned beers: Coors, Coors Light and Pacifico. Prices are $5-$6.
Freeze fans looking to spike the Signature Taco Bell drink will have to wait. The local franchisee is still waiting for approvals to serve spirits. Eventually, 21 and over diners will be able to add rum, vodka or tequila to the slushy drinks.
Taco Bell franchisee Christian Fanticola said he jumped at the chance to open a cantina in McFadden Square near the city pier.
“I’ve always loved this area because of the high foot traffic, the tourists and the locals,” said Fanticola, who owns 13 Taco Bell restaurants in Southern California.
Taco Bell said it plans to open 300 “drive-thru free locations” over the next five years. Not every location will serve alcohol. More restaurants are planned for Manhattan, Brooklyn, Chicago, Boulder, and Madison.
Taco Bell tests frosé at 2 Cantina locations
Taco Bell customers in Chicago and Southern California can now pair a Naked Chicken Chalupa with frosé, a wine-infused slushy drink.
The Irvine, Calif.-based quick-service chain is testing a Berry Frosé Twisted Freeze at two Cantina restaurants in Newport Beach, Calif., and Chicago. The 16-ounce drink contains a berry-blend “Freeze” base, created especially for the Cantinas, and 2 ounces of rosé wine from Charles & Charles. The Washington State winemaker is known for its abstract American flag labels created by the legendary Nashville, Tenn., poster shop Hatch Show Print.
The frosé beverage debuts at both restaurants on Wednesday, priced at $7.99 in Southern California, and $5.49 in Chicago.
“Ultimately, if it does well, we’d like to bring it to all of our Cantinas,” said Alec Treffers, Taco Bell’s public affairs and brand reputation specialist.
The test comes as the chain’s Newport Beach Cantina, which opened in December, recently expanded its alcohol license to include beer and wine sales. When it opened, it only sold beer. Most Cantina restaurants sell beer and wine, but navigating the licensing in each state has, in some cases, delayed the sale of certain alcoholic drinks.
The beer and wine license in Newport Beach also allows the Cantina to sell drinks infused with fermented (not distilled) tequila, rum and vodka.
Customers can choose to “spike” Taco Bell’s Freeze drinks with 2 ounces of their favorite non-distilled spirit. However, Twisted Freezes were not available in Southern California until a couple of weeks ago, Treffers said.
The Newport Beach Cantina, one of about dozen Cantinas around the country, is the only Taco Bell bar/lounge serving the chain’s first-ever branded beer, a collaboration with the local brewery Four Sons Brewing in Huntington Beach, Calif.
The Mexican-style amber lager, called Beach Bell, was developed to complement items on the Cantina menu.
The flashy, no-drive-thru concept is part of Taco Bell’s strategy to refresh the look of its restaurants, especially in urban markets. Each Cantina embraces the surrounding community with unique decor, furniture and food. In Newport Beach, the tiny storefront is steps away from one of California’s most popular and tourist-packed beaches.
The 14-seat bar is made of partially reclaimed wood. The dining room has large, bi-fold windows that allow diners to watch the bustling surf community while dining on their favorite Mexican mashup meal.
When Taco Bell opened the Cantina in Newport Beach, the first near its corporate headquarters, the company projected it would open about 300 of these urban locations over the next five years. Not every urban location would have alcohol.
The Cantina menu features the regular Taco Bell menu in addition to a few shareable meals that are exclusive to the concept. Food is served in black plastic baskets for sit-down customers.
Cantinas tend to be open later than traditional Taco Bell units. A Cantina on the Las Vegas Strip is open 24 hours. The Newport Beach location is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Taco Bell Cantina is another sub-brand for Taco Bell. In 2014, the company unveiled the fast-casual eatery U.S. Taco Co. in Southern California, serving American-inspired tacos. The concept closed a year later.
Update June 7, 2018: This story has been updated to clarify the price of the frosé beverage, which is $7.99 in Southern California and $5.49 in Chicago.
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Taco Bell That Serves Alcohol Coming To Royal Oak
ROYAL OAK (WWJ) — Would you like a “Twisted Freeze” or beer with your Chalupa? That’s a decision Michigan residents will have to make when a new Taco Bell location opens in Royal Oak.
According to a Craigslist job posting, a brand new Taco Bell Cantina location is set to open in Royal Oak. The Taco Bell Cantina locations are best known for offering alcoholic drinks, including beer, wine, sangria and booze-filled slushies.
Along with the regular fast food menu guest can also order beer, wine, sangria and twisted Freezes which can be mixed with rum, tequila or vodka. (Photo: Getty Images)
“We are seeking Team Members to work in our new Taco Bell Cantina location in Royal Oak, Michigan! The Cantina style of restaurant is like the Taco Bell in Las Vegas!” the job posting read.
The store will be located on Main Street south of Fourth Street, according to The Detroit Free Press. It’ll be the first cantina location in Michigan.
It is unclear at this time when this location will officially open.
Dortch Enterprises, who considers themselves a Taco Bell franchisee in Southeastern Michigan, will be operating the new Royal Oak cantina location. The job posting also indicates that Dortch Enterprises is planning on opening 10 new Taco Bell restaurants in the next three years, however, it’s unknown if all will be the cantina style.
Wait—Are Taco Bell Cantinas Using Fake Liquor?
As far as I’m concerned, Taco Bell is already a wonderful establishment (well, except at breakfast time ). Its handful of hip ntina” locations, where you can pair a beer or boozy Baja Blast slushie with your chalupa of choice, are even better.
But if you thought that getting a Mountain Dew-based cocktail in Midtown Manhattan for under $7 was too good to be true, that’s because it is (kind of). According to some sleuthing done by Vinepair , it seems the alcohol options for your frozen margarita at New York’s upscale versions of T Bell aren’t what they at first glance appear to be. Instead of traditional liquors you𠆝 expect, the booze options are instead lower-proof alternatives like fermented vodka, fermented rum, and agave wine.
At this point, you’re probably asking yourself just what the hell fermented rum even is. Great question! Just like their real-deal counterparts, the ersatz liquor you’ll find in an NYC Taco Bell cantina is fermented. But these weaker knockoffs aren’t distilled, that crucial step that gives certain potables their alcoholic potency. Without distillation, you can’t legally call vodka vodka, rum rum, etc.
Watch: How to Make Taco Bell&aposs Quesalupa
While Taco Bell hasn’t said anything about what’s going on, it’s possible to infer their motivations from some copy on the website of the San Gabriel Beverage Group, the company who provides Taco Bell Cantinas with its “spirits”. Their Petrov Reserve 𠇎nables establishments with Beer & Wine Licenses to offer… any vodka-based cocktail.” Given that it isn’t always the easiest process to nab a full liquor license, it maybe just makes more sense for Taco Bell to serve up 20% ABV knockoffs (including the admittedly somewhat legit 100% agave wine ) rather than go for the real thing. Or maybe they just want to keep customers from getting too rowdy, who knows.
Of course, it’s important to point out that this seems to be a phenomenon unique to New York City for whatever reason. At other Taco Bell Cantinas in places like Alexandria, Virginia , you can spike your Baja Blast with your choice of Tito’s Vodka, Bacardi Rum or Jose Cuervo Tequila. So if you’re outside of the five boroughs, you can rest assured that you aren’t being deprived of that sweet, sweet alcohol.
It sucks to be cheated out of a stronger Baja Blast Buzz, but at the end of the day, some perspective is important: you’re still drinking inside a Taco Bell. And that, my friends, is worth celebrating.
Taco Bell Is Testing Out Beer and Slushies with Rum and Vodka - Recipes
Taco Bell's new flagship restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip is meant to be the "ultimate expression of the Taco Bell brand and lifestyle" and includes among its features a dining room open 24 hours a day dining room and eight base flavors of ice-slush Freeze drinks.
The location is the fourth Taco Bell Cantina restaurant and 7,000th Taco Bell restaurant to open. The Cantina restaurants are different from standard Taco Bell restaurants in that they're more geared towards urban areas, sit-down eating, shareable plates, and may serve alcohol.
Menu-wise, the new location includes the standard Taco Bell menu plus alcohol, the expanded Freeze selection, and shareable plates.
Beyond beer and wine, the eight Freeze flavors can also be spiked with alcohol (tequila, rum, vodka, whiskey and spiced rum). The base Freeze flavors include Margarita, Cola, Pina Colada, Lemonade, Orange, Baja Blast, Cherry, and Blue Raspberry. The Freeze can come in 16- and 32-oz souvenir cups.
Shareable options include Cheesy Bacon Jalapeno Dippers, 7-Layer Dip, Mini Quesadillas, Homestyle Nachos, Chicken Tenders, and Spicy Bacon & Ranch Smothered Potatoes.
In addition to the expanded menu, the flagship location also features a store with exclusive Taco Bell merchandise, an open kitchen, an outdoor patio along the Vegas Strip, VIP lounges, and dedicated space for DJ entertainment.
Starbucks Evenings: By day, they are “normal” stores with perhaps a tad more comfy furniture, warmer colors and local art on the walls at night, they morph into Starbucks with the help of mood lighting and music.
Taco Bell Cantina: The Chicago location has a more urban-industrial look inside, with lots of metal, wood and a giant, dramatic mural, while the San Francisco spot has more of a modern West Coast feel, with lots of horizontal wood, corrugated metal and a patio with box planters that look pulled out of a Crate & Barrel catalog.
Starbucks Evenings: A whopping 70 percent of Starbucks customers also drink wine, compared to 30 percent of the general U.S. population, according to a Mintel Reports survey, so wine was a no-brainer for the company. The wines are all tailored to local tastes and range from a bargain $6 glass of Riesling (or $20 for the bottle) to a more eyebrow-raising $14 glass of Syrah (or $50 by the bottle).
Taco Bell Cantina: In addition to $3 red and white wines, Taco Bell Cantina is also, smartly, serving up sangria—always a crowd pleaser. (Right now, only the Chicago location is serving alcohol, but it will be coming to San Francisco soon as well.)
Starbucks Evenings: The same Mintel survey also reported that Starbucks customers are two times more likely than average customers to drink craft beer, so, naturally the chain caters to its crowds with local beers on tap, for a fair $4 to $5 a glass.
Taco Bell Cantina: At $3 a glass, pours of Dos Equis and Fat Tire beers are a steal here.
Taco Bell to open 300-plus new cantina-style locations that serve alcoholarticle
(FOX NEWS) Taco Bell is about to get a little boozier and lot more accessible.
The fast-food chain announced its plans to open around 300 to 350 more locations by 2022, Food and Wine reports. The chain plans to expand by opening more cantina-style locations, especially in urban areas. But these new restaurants won’t be your typical drive-thru — in fact, they won&apost even have drive-thrus.
The “urban in-line” stores will be designed to feature open kitchens, digital menu boards and local artwork. But perhaps most importantly, they’ll serve alcohol.
Like the current cantina locations, these new Taco Bell restaurants will offer beer, wine, sangria and Twisted Freezes, slushy drinks with the option to add vodka, rum or tequila. They’ll also feature “shareable” food items like chicken fingers and nachos, according to Eater.