This holiday season, Taco Bell is giving the gift of three new Taco Bell Cantina restaurants in New York City. The modern urban restaurant design is known for serving Taco Bell classics along with adult beverage options.
By the end of 2018, the new Cantinas will open in Manhattan. These new restaurants are milestone openings for the brand, which typically opens its traditional drive-thru concepts in suburban areas. New York City joins other metropolitan cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, which have seen the openings of the modern updated version.
Since 2015, Taco Bell has opened 19 Cantina restaurants and 16 Urban In-Line Concepts throughout the country. With the opening of the new Cantina restaurants, New York City will be home to three Urban In-Line locations and three Cantinas. Stores at 840 8th Avenue and 224 7th Avenue are currently open, and the 500 8th Avenue location will debut by the end of the year.
With the fast-paced lifestyle of a typical New Yorker in mind, the design of the Manhattan Cantinas was tailored to fit what local consumers want. The high-tech Cantinas feature mobile ordering services, self-service kiosks, and “the brand’s delivery partnership with Seamless (owned and operated by Grubhub) allow fans to access their favorite Mexican-inspired food whenever, and wherever, they want,” the company said in a statement.
The 500 8th Avenue location will elevate the customer experience even further by offering new, exclusive menu items, ways to order, and overall improved convenience. These new features include:
- Technology: Before entering, fans will be greeted street-side by digital window displays playfully welcoming them. Depending on their preference, guests can order one of five ways: One, Taco Bell’s mobile app, two, tacobell.com, three, in-restaurant kiosks, four, at the register, or five, via the Seamless delivery app.
- Convenience: Designed to accommodate a large volume of orders at the same time and keep the restaurant moving smoothly, 500 8th Avenue will have more order touchpoints than any other Taco Bell, featuring six self-service kiosks and three registers.
- Food: The new restaurant will be rolling out a brand-new Cantina Nachos menu, including a Chicken Enchilada Nachos Box, Fiesta Taco Salad Nachos Box and Steak & Cheddar Nachos Box, all for just $5.59 each (taxes and substitutions extra). The restaurant will also be home to a new 7-Layer Dip. This menu comes along side brand new freeze flavors, such as Frozen Mule and Party Punch. Like all other Cantina concepts, guests 21 and over can choose to add their preferred alcohol to their freeze.
- Experience: Fans can look forward to checking out the custom mural wall by New York City artist Greg Lamarch and browse the retail section of the restaurant, which includes an exclusive T-Shirt also designed by the artist. They can also play DJ by using their cell phone to choose the music!
“The research we’ve done in New York tells us that our fans want an experience that parallels their lifestyle—fast and at their fingertips. We now give our guests five ways to order, spanning from at home, on-the-go, or in restaurant,” said Mike Grams, general manager of North America and global chief operating officer. “The convenience we have introduced through our technology allows guests to spend less time waiting for their food and more time enjoying our new beer with their loved ones.”
Continuing the tradition of opening a Cantina in a new location, Taco Bell has partnered with New York’s Blue Point Brewing Company to create an exclusive beer, Big City Bell Pilsner, that will be on tap in all three new restaurants. In the past, Taco Bell has successfully featured other exclusive brews at its Newport Beach Cantina in California.
"We're so excited to be part of the Cantina launch in our hometown," Blue Point president Jenna Lally said in a statement. "We're looking forward to New Yorkers relaxing and enjoying some tacos with the new Big City Bell Pilsner."
Big City Bell Pilsner is brewed with a blend of special blends of hops that highlight the aroma of citrus fruit and lime. The balanced flavor profile of the beer pairs well with the Mexican-inspired flavors of Taco Bell’s menu items.
The announcement of the Manhattan Cantinas rounds out a year of exciting menu changes, partnerships, innovative changes to restaurant design, and advances in technology for Taco Bell.