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Taco Bell is taking on Manhattan

The Mexican QSR is opening three new locations there as part of a big urban push.
Photograph courtesy of Taco Bell

Taco Bell is coming to Manhattan, and it’s bringing the beer.

The Irvine, Calif.-based fast-food chain is making a big move into New York City with three new Cantina-style locations by the end of this year.

In the process, the company has partnered with Blue Point Brewing Co. to create the Big City Bell Pilsner, which will be available at all three of the Manhattan locations in the coming months.

To Taco Bell, the move into New York is an important milestone in its urban development. The company has traditionally opened in suburban locations and some smaller communities with stand-alone locations with drive-thrus.

But in the past couple of years it has targeted more urban locations with a different version of its concept. The company has opened 19 Cantinas and 16 urban, inline locations across the country in cities such as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

Earlier this year, Taco Bell opened six new urban restaurants in the boroughs of New York, and 10 additional urban concepts were opened elsewhere.

It also released a local beer at a Cantina in Newport Beach, Calif. The partnership with Blue Point marks the second such local brew.

Taco Bell said that its New York Cantinas will be “tailored to the fast-paced lifestyle of the typical New Yorker,” with technology such as mobile ordering and self-order kiosks and delivery.

“The research we’ve done in New York tells us that our fans want an experience that parallels their lifestyle,” Mike Grams, Taco Bell's general manager of North America and global chief operating officer, said in a statement. He said that the use of technology in the locations “allows guests to spend less time waiting for their food and more time enjoying our new beer with their loved ones.”

The location set to open this month at 500 8th Ave. in New York City will feature streetside digital window displays and five methods for customers to order: mobile app, website, kiosks, register or the Seamless delivery app.

The location “will have more order touchpoints than any other Taco Bell,” including six kiosks and three registers, the company said.

The location will roll out a new Cantina Nachos menu, including a Chicken Enchilada Nachos Box, Fiesta Taco Salad Nachos Box and Steak & Cheddar Nachos Box for $5.59 each.

There will also be a custom mural by New York artist Greg Lamarche and a retail section that includes an exclusive T-shirt.

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