Most people—people who live in areas where there are actual Mexican restaurants, anyway—won’t admit to eating Taco Bell when they’re sober, even though they totally do. But put between four and seven tequila shots (14 if you’re Charlie Sheen) into any of these Platonic ideals of American adulthood we’re imagining for the sake of this Newswire, and suddenly a deep affinity for Quesaritos and “those crunchy cinnamon things” will emerge.
“I would love some Taco Bell right now,” our perfectly average hypothetical test subject will slur. “Do you have any Taco Bell? Here, I have money,” they’ll say, reaching into their pockets and producing a handful of change, which they will then drop on the floor. “Oh my God, this is my song!”
Now, in a masterwork of vertical integration that would make even the most bloated Golden Age Hollywood studio executive shed a tear, Taco Bell has decided to eliminate the middleman and just serve booze in its restaurants. So far, this policy applies to only one restaurant, a Taco Bell that is opening in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood this month. The “upscale” taqueria concept will serve beer, wine, and alcoholic “freezes” in the restaurant as well as your usual tacos and chalupas and whatnot. (No, you can’t get booze to go—a Taco Bell spokeswoman says the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be served in different cups to prevent any confusion, a strategy that seems like it could be easily sidestepped by the old “water cup” routine.)
Having worked a retail job in said neighborhood, which in the ’90s was an alt-rock mecca—High Fidelity was filmed there—but whose streets are now lousy with investment bankers, sorority pledges, and European tourists looking for a “cultural experience,” this writer can tell you that all this sounds about right. The neon orange Doritos Locos Taco vomit on the sidewalk should complement the existing puddles nicely.