Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Soma's Getting a Fancy Pants Taco Bell

Posted By on Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 12:09 PM

click to enlarge Look at the Taco Bell of tomorrow, with its distressed plank flooring and color splashes! - TACO BELL
  • Taco Bell
  • Look at the Taco Bell of tomorrow, with its distressed plank flooring and color splashes!

In the somewhat underrated 1993 sci-fi movie Demolition Man — in which cryogenically imprisoned super-villain Wesley Snipes gets defrosted and runs amok in a utopian “San Angeles” of 2032, requiring grizzled, falsely convicted LAPD officer Sylvester Stallone to thaw out and capture him — one of the jokes is about how “now all restaurants are now Taco Bell.”

That’s according to Sandra Bullock’s character, spoken as white-gloved valets welcome patrons to the upscale dining establishment, where a pianist sings commercial jingles as snooty, well-dressed guests sip bubbles from metallic flutes. 

Like the prediction that Arnold Schwarzenegger would go on to hold high office, Demolition Man got it right, because Taco Bell is indeed going upscale and 701 Third Street will be its San Francisco lab. Hoodline sleuthed it out and determined that it’s not only not a hoax, but that this “cantina” concept won’t be part of the company’s other upscale Mexican venture, the wordily named U.S. Taco Co. & Urban Taproom down in Huntington Beach.

They're applying for a beer-and-wine license, and everything.

While neither Taco Bell nor parent YUM! Brands is revealing much about the interior, a location in Chicago’s Wicker Park looks to be full of exposed brick, with an open kitchen and a menu that’s conspicuously free of hard-to-pronounce things from organic chemistry. Has the world gone mental? Taco Bell should wait for weed to become legal in California and better serve their target demo.

In the meantime, I'm a little crushed that that pretty much rules out a frozen margarita machine, but this one should be interesting; if it’s even halfway decent, it might rock a lot of people’s entire Weltanschauung right down to the foundations. There's no definite opening date yet for Nachos Bel Marin Keys or whatever they're going to call it, but either way, it’s a long way from 59-79-99.

[Via Hoodline]

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"