Taco Bell Cantina debuted on Wednesday at 872 Commonwealth Ave., the first location of Taco Bell’s boozy offshoot to land in Boston. Set apart from regular Taco Bells by its inclusion of alcohol and a more “upscale” environment, Taco Bell Cantina first launched in Chicago in 2015, and has since spread across the country to cities including Austin, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.
District Manager Jackie Boisvert told The Daily Free Press, Boston University’s independent student newspaper, that the company had achieved previous success operating a Cantina near Yale University.
“We know that our biggest consumer is college students, so why not put a Taco Bell in the Boston University area?” Boisvert told the publication. “We’ve noticed in our franchise specifically that our Taco Bells built around college-based areas do better than other Taco Bells.”
The Tex-Mex chain did not immediately respond to Boston.com’s request for comment.
At first glance, Cantinas have all the food trappings of a standard Taco Bell: burritos, tacos, Crunchwrap Supremes, nachos, and quesadillas. But there’s also beer, wine, sangria, and Freezes, or boozy slushies, which come in flavors like lemonade, piña colada, and blue raspberry.
Boisvert told The Daily Free Press that the company views the Cantina’s offerings as a “step up from the normal fast food.”
The chain’s latest addition to the Boston fast casual scene was in August 2019, when it opened a Taco Bell in Downtown Crossing. Other Boston-area locations can be found in East Cambridge, West Roxbury, Quincy, and Lynn.
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