The world is about to find out what tapas from Taco Bell look like.
The fast-food chain announced today that it will be opening two concept restaurants, each named Taco Bell Cantina, in the U.S. this month, aimed at urbanites. The first location will open in Chicago in a week, and the second in San Francisco before the end of the month. The Cantina restaurants will mark the first time Taco Bell serves alcohol in its restaurants, though this upmarket effort means losing a signature part of its traditional locations: drive-thrus.
“Taco Bell is dropping the drive-thru, opening its kitchens, and using technology to create a new experience as the brand expands into urban markets,” the company said in a statement.
As simultaneous experiments in corporate Millennial-baiting and increasing margins with alcohol sales, the two concept restaurants can be seen as efforts to capture some of Chipotle’s $4-billion annual revenue.
Compared to the uniform, bland, fluorescent-lit Taco Bell locations that dot the country, these new restaurants pander to the young and hip in calculated ways. The new restaurants will seek to include “local architecture,” with the Chicago location featuring a mural by a local artist in a “nod to the neighborhood’s history as an artistic hub.” The San Francisco location, in SoMa, will offer a mobile-pickup window. Brian Niccol, Taco Bell’s CEO, said in a statement that the company is hoping that the concept restaurants will be spots where customers can “experience our brand differently.” The Chicago location will offer beer, wine, sangria, and frozen mixed drinks, while the San Francisco location will only offer beer and wine.