London has become a city without a bell due to Big Ben’s construction, but thanks to Taco Bell, that’s no longer the case.
On Monday, Taco Bell chimed in with a sound that London has been missing for over a year: Big Ben’s bells. As the infamous clock is under scaffolding for reconstruction, Big Ben’s popular chimes have also been under wraps. Taco Bell seized the opportunity to surprise and delight Londoners with a sound of their own: its signature bell digitized to recreate the Westminster chimes.
The move marks the world’s leading Mexican-inspired restaurant’s entry into London, one of the brand’s most requested cities for entry. The first London Taco Bell, located in the Hammersmith district, opens November 23, and based on recent U.K. openings that have received tremendous fanfare, it’s sure to have hundreds of fans lining up for blocks.
Fans of Taco Bell will remember its infamous 1996 April Fool’s Liberty Bell prank, in which the brand advertised it had bought the Liberty Bell and renamed it the “Taco Liberty Bell,” before revealing the story was a hoax and announcing a contribution to the upkeep of the Liberty Bell. In this same lighthearted vein, Taco Bell brought some humor into Londoners daily commutes, as they passed by Big Ben and heard a new twist on the Westminster Chimes.
To create this new take on the chimes, the brand worked with an audio engineer to compose the chimes out of Taco Bell’s iconic bell. The chimes were blasted through parametric speakers in the area surrounding Big Ben on November 19, causing quite the stir among Londoners days before Taco Bell’s first London restaurant opening.
After the first Hammersmith restaurant opens, three more Taco Bells are set to open across London in the coming months, joining the brand’s 28 other restaurants across the U.K. The new London locations include:
- Hammersmith, London – opening Friday, November 23
- Holborn, London – opening Friday, November 30
- Croydon, London – opening in December 2018
- Fulham, London – opening in early 2019
The London restaurants will feature modern designs, open-kitchen concepts, artwork from local artists, complimentary WiFi and outlets for charging devices, inviting guests to stay and socialize over their meal. Menu items will include craveable classics from Taco Bell’s U.S. menu, U.K. specific items such as delicious churros with dipping sauces, Twisted Freezes, beer, and specials such as happy hours, Taco Tuesday featuring a taco and a Sol beer for £2 and a ‘Cravers’ value menu. The Hammersmith restaurant will even feature the same beer innovation as Taco Bell’s Las Vegas flagship Cantina, where beer fills the cup from the bottom before being sealed with a magnet.