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Above: Newport Beach’s Taco Bell Catina, which opened late last year.
The combination Pizza Hut & Taco Bell located at Broadway and Paloma in Bluff Heights is seeking an upgrade: after launching for the first time in SoCal along the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, Taco Bell wants to take its “Cantina” concept—where cleaner, contemporary design meets beer’n’fast food—to Long Beach.
But some locals weren’t having it, initially requesting Long Beach City Council to permit a protest of the alcohol license based on grounds that it is too close to residences, too close to a school, and there’s an over concentration of alcohol-serving businesses nearby.
However, that request has been formally withdrawn as of this morning. And while that means Taco Bell won’t be receiving a license since the Council won’t be viewing the item, it doesn’t mean they won’t try to move forward as scheduled, according to company spokesman Rob Poetsch said.
This means that, in the future, Taco Bell could move forward with testing alcohol-centric fast food joints, including its own brand of beer—the Newport location served a special, one-off collaboration with Four Sons Brewing out of Huntington Beach named Beach Bell, for example—and alcoholic slushies dubbed Twisted Freezes.
Beers served on the regular include Lagunitas IPA, Modelo, Pacifico, Coors, and Coors Light, ranked informally from actual beer to alcohol-tinged water.
“Should we open in Long Beach, the location will be a Taco Bell Cantina and will feature a restaurant design, menu and alcoholic beverages similar to our locations in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Newport Beach,” Poetsch said.
Others have opened in San Francisco and Austin as well, with each cantina looking different, “designed to embrace the surrounding community,” according to Poetsch.
Taco Bell is located at 3125 E Broadway.
Editor’s note: this article originally insinuated that Taco Bell was still looking to convert the existing location discussed; this remains unclear given the license submission for that location was withdrawn entirely.