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D.C.’s First Taco Bell Cantina Is Moving Into Taco-Rich Columbia Heights

The fast food chain’s upscale outposts are known for boozy “twisted freezes”

Taco Bell NYC Cantina Hiring Party At 840 8th Avenue, New York, NY Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Taco Bell

Soon, Old Town Alexandria won’t be the only neighborhood in the metropolitan area with a Taco Bell Cantina. Popville recently reported it had information from a source that a Taco Bell Cantina was reportedly headed to Columbia Heights.

This week, a representative for the chain confirmed the neighborhood was set to get a location in the spring. WTOP confirmed the news as well.

The fast-food brand’s bigger, vibrantly decorated restaurants aim to attract millennials with shareable dishes like cheesy bacon jalapeno dippers. Crucially, the majority of them serve alcohol, including beer, wine, and “twisted” hard freezes.

Taco Bell is planting the upscale sister restaurants all over the country — 50 boozy cantinas are planned for New York City alone by 2022.

The first Taco Bell Cantina in the Washington area opened on King Street in Alexandria in December 2018, with outdoor seating and late night hours. Last year, the owner of gourmet market Society Fair said the cantina was packed while their (now-closed) business was struggling to stay afloat.

Since Popville’s original post, people have been tweeting both excitement and disgust for news that the chain will be moving into a neighborhood that is also home to some of the best traditional taquerias in the city, Taqueria Habanero and Mezcalero.

A blog post from DCist included a poll on the subject, with about an equal number of respondents in the camps of “pure, unadulterated excitement” or “I extremely do not care.”

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