IRVINE, Calif. – The first Taco Bell Cantina restaurant to open on the Las Vegas Strip has been such a success that the quick-service chain decided to expand that location and open a second Cantina restaurant in downtown Las Vegas on Fremont Street.
The 1,200 sq.-ft. expansion of the flagship location on the Strip features a second-floor private space with views of the strip and a bar with capacity to serve larger parties and special events. The first-floor dining area also is larger and includes more retail space, and an expanded kitchen and back-of-house area. Another upgrade to the space is self-order kiosks.
“We’ve seen what happens when Taco Bell Cantina meets Las Vegas, and we’re excited to bring that experience to historic Fremont Street along with our fantastic franchise partners,” said Amanda Clark, head of North American Development. “Our continued growth in urban, high foot traffic destinations and downtowns are a big piece of the growth puzzle as we grow from 7,000 to 9,000 restaurants over the next four years.”
Since its grand opening in 2016, the Taco Bell Cantina on the Strip has bloomed into the chain’s busiest location. The restaurant offers 24-hour service, DJ entertainment, VIP lounges, weddings, retail and a Freeze Wall where customers can order Twisted Freeze frozen drinks with or without alcohol.
The Fremont location will cover 6,000 sq. ft., taking over a portion of the former El Portal Theatre which closed in the 1970s. The space will feature an open-air design and a second-floor entry which can be accessed by lighted escalator from the first-floor sidewalk, the company said. The Fremont Street Cantina is scheduled to open in 2019.
In 2016, Taco Bell switched course on its interior design aesthetic opting for more contemporary and modern designs. Since then, the chain has opened nearly 30 restaurants in urban spaces, 17 Cantina and 13 Urban In-line restaurants across the United States. The company has maintained plans grow into urban and downtown neighborhoods with the goal of opening nearly 50 more urban restaurants in 2019. By 2022, Taco Bell plans to have 8,000 US restaurants, at least 300 of which will be urban concepts.