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Taco Bell Plans to Open More Boozy Cantinas

The chain will launch 300 more restaurants by 2022

Taco Bell Launches Its New Cantina Restaurant Experience
A Taco Bell Cantina in Chicago, Illinois, was the first location to serve alcohol in the U.S.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Taco Bell is embarking upon a massive expansion that will bring more alcoholic slushies and fried chicken chips to America’s biggest cities. The chain also plans to open more of its Cantina concepts, which offer booze in a more fast-casual atmosphere.

The fast-food giant will bring around 300 of its city-style restaurants to urban areas throughout the U.S. by 2022, according to NASDAQ. Taco Bell introduced its first Cantina in 2015, which features designs geared towards foot traffic (read: no drive-thru) and offers beer and mixed drinks. Cantinas also boast flashy millennial-baiting features like digital menu boards, digital queues, open kitchens, and shareable tapas-style menus.

There are currently 11 urban Taco Bells in operation, including locations in Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Austin. In 2015, the company was reportedly exploring locations for possible city restaurants in Boston, New York, and Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to the U.S. restaurant expansion, Taco Bell has also set its sights on China, Brazil, Canada, and India for a massive international expansion push. The company hopes to open roughly 100 locations in each country over the next five years. The worldwide effort is aimed at helping boost sales, which have declined declined due in part to competitions from grocery stores and meal-delivery kits, Bloomberg reports.

Still, the company has found some success in the market by introducing increasingly bizarre stunt foods such as the Naked Chicken Chalupa — a taco with a fried chicken shell.

Yum! Brands' (YUM) Taco Bell Drafts Restaurant Growth Plan [NASDAQ]
Taco Bell Adding Thousands of Stores in International Push [Bloomberg]
13 Things To Know About America's First Boozy Taco Bell Cantina Concept [ECHI]
All Taco Bell Coverage [E]

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