CHILLICOTHE — Final week, there was a Taco Bell in Chillicothe. This week, there is not.
However northeast Peoria County followers of Nachos Bell Grande or Chalupas Supreme ought to have the ability to resume getting their fixes early subsequent 12 months in Chilli.
The constructing at 604 N. Fourth St. had been housing that metropolis’s outlet of the fast-food chain. It was leveled earlier this week, in line with Bud Jenkins, one of many operators of the world Taco Bell franchise.
On the location Wednesday was an empty lot, with Taco Bell signal nonetheless in place.
Within the outdated constructing’s place is to be constructed one of many Taco Bell company workplace’s most well-liked, extra trendy designs.
After 20 years within the earlier construction, Jenkins stated its judgment day was approaching. The constructing as soon as housed a department of the Wendy’s hamburger chain.
“We determined that as an alternative of simply reworking an outdated location that we might tear it down, since we personal the property, and construct a complete new one,” stated Jenkins, a Taco Bell franchisee for nearly 40 years.
“Each time your franchise settlement expires, a query it’s a must to ask your self is, ‘Is that this nonetheless the most effective location?’ We determined to reinvest in Chillicothe.”
Jenkins’ household oversees 16 Taco Bells in and round Peoria. Amongst different locations, they’re additionally situated in Bloomington-Regular, Canton, Morton, Springfield and Washington. A brand new Jenkins-helmed Taco Bell is scheduled to open subsequent 12 months in Lincoln.
The renewed Chillicothe location is to open in late January, in line with Jenkins. It is to be about 2,200 sq. toes. That is about 200 sq. toes smaller than the earlier constructing.
“The outdated eating room was too large, and the kitchen was too small,” Jenkins acknowledged. “So the brand new constructing can have an even bigger kitchen and a smaller eating room.”
An out of doors patio is also to be included, as is one drive-thru lane. There’s room to develop the drive-thru to 2, if warranted. That is not fairly like an under-construction Taco Bell in Minnesota that has six or seven drive-thru lanes, in line with Jenkins.
However as that and the smaller eating room may attest, the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing uncertainty about indoor eating has prompted the restaurant business to grow to be extra nimble.
“Taco Bell, together with many different firms, is making an attempt to check out what makes probably the most sense, particularly on this period of COVID,” Jenkins stated.