Taco Bell was founded by fast food entrepreneur Glen Bell in Downey, California, in 1962.
It started with some hard-shell tacos and a dream.
Glen Bell, founder of the international fast food chain Taco Bell, opened his very first restaurant of that name in a modest 20-by-20 foot Mission-style building in Downey, California, in 1962. He thought that crunchy taco shells would make the traditional Mexican fare more fast food friendly, and that the American public would eat it up.
He was right. Fifty-three years later, there are roughly 6,000 Taco Bell restaurants in the U.S. The small cinderblock building in Downey where mass-market Mexican food arguably began, though, faces an uncertain future.... Read More →
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Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.