The first Taco Bell Cantina in Texas opened at 2000 Guadalupe St. directly across from campus on Thursday and will serve alcohol in addition to the typical Taco Bell menu.
The restaurant, which features unique decor and focuses on a social dining experience, is one of only three Taco Bell Cantinas in the U.S., according to a press release from Taco Bell franchisee Tacala.
Tacala spokesperson Brooke Wood said Tacala selected the location for the tremendous growth in the city of Austin.
“We couldn’t have selected a better location to bring our urban Taco Bell Cantina concept to Texas,” Wood said in an email. “We look forward to serving the University of Texas students while supporting Longhorn pride throughout campus.”
Architecture freshman Alexis Medrano dined at the restaurant today and said she’s excited about the new location.
“As an architecture student, I’m in the studio really late, so having a place that’s open late hours is really convenient,” Medrano said.
Some local business owners expressed concerns about selling alcohol close to campus.
“I’m going to discourage that one because alcohol is not supposed to be here,” said Tari Nahnood, owner of neighboring restaurant Zarab’s Kabobs, in a KXAN article in May, when Taco Bell first proposed the idea.
Medrano said she didn’t see the problem.
“There’s places like Fuzzy’s that already sell alcohol, so I don’t really have a problem with it,” Medrano said.
The Taco Bell Cantina will serve mostly local alcohol brands including Tito’s Vodka and beer from Live Oak Brewery. The restaurant will open for breakfast every day at 7 a.m. and stay open until midnight on Sunday through Thursday and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.