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Taco Bell
The new Taco Bell Cantina restaurant along Milwaukee Avenue on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Chicago, Ill. This is the first time the chain is serving alcohol in the United States. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

Taco Bell will ditch drive-thrus and sell alcohol at certain 'cantina-style' locations



Taco Bell plans on opening 300 to 350 locations without drive-thrus by 2022, according to Food & Wine.

Food & Wine reported last week that the “urban in-line” or “cantina-style” stores will target big cities like Detroit, Pittsburgh, Nashville and New York City.

The majority of these upcoming locations will serve beer, sangria, wine and Twisted Freezes, which are slushes containing rum, tequila or vodka.

The “cantina-style” stores will additionally express local atmospheres with art work, open kitchens and digital menu boards.

Some Twitter users on Tuesday commented upon the business strategy, which is the latest of several experiments Taco Bell has unveiled this year.

Food & Wine reported that Taco Bell currently boasts six locations in Manhattan but hopes to reach at least 50 by 2022.

The publication added that Taco Bell’s plans are surprising as the Tex-Mex chain currently gets about 55 to 70 percent of its revenue from drive-thrus.

Taco Bell’s chief operating officer said the company is hoping to capitalize on the appeal of urban areas to millennials.

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“One of the cool things happening in America right now is the revitalization of urban areas, and we’re seeing millennials moving into downtown areas,” Mike Grams said.

“[Taco Bell] isn’t afraid to try new things,” he added of the different vibe and smaller scale of the future “cantina-style” locations.

Food & Wine reported that there are presently about 6,000 Taco Bell locations nationwide as the brand embarks on its next step.

Foodbeast reported last month that Taco Bell was testing a “Firecracker burrito” boasting spicy popping crystals at four locations in Orange County, California.

Taco Bell in July also began trialing a burrito made with Frito Lay’s Cheeto’s after the mashup item performed well at select locations in Canada.

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