Taco Bell might not seem like a national treasure. But some believe that the very first location of the mega taco chain should be.
Glenn Bell opened the first Taco Bell in Downey, California, just south of Los Angeles, in 1962. After just five years, the brand had 100 locations.
In the late '70s, the company was sold to PepsiCo. Then, in the mid-'80s, the brand got a bit of an overhaul. A number of locations were shuttered, including the original Downey outpost. “No one seems to have paid much attention to the closure of the original Taco Bell. Few, apparently, even knew it was the original Taco Bell,” wrote Joe Satran for The Huffington Post.
But now, nearly three decades later, someone is finally taking interest in the original Taco Bell. The location was home to a number of businesses over the years before being vacated last December. The owners of the land slated the building for demolition, but the Downey Conservatory, a preservation group in the city, felt such a landmark was worthy of a more dignified conclusion. “We were kinda lucky,” George Redfox, a Downey Conservancy member, told HuffPo. “Generally, we find out about these types of things when the bulldozer is already on the property, which can make it really hard to do anything about it.”
Now, the plan is to move the building to a new location this summer, where it can live on forever. Taco Bell got involved with the project and even chipped in some money for a study to see if the move is feasible.
Call it the first Taco Bell’s final to-go order.