Restaurant some call 'Taco Bell heaven' re-opens at Pacifica beach to much fanfare

PACIFICA, Calif. (KGO) -- Pacifica is known for a lot of things: Its iconic fishing pier, miles of sandy beach, surfing and hiking -- and the already iconic Taco Bell that has just got a makeover.

Since the 1980's, tourists from around the globe have flocked to the sandy shores of Linda Mar Beach. Not for locally caught fish and chips -- but more for nacho chips and to soak in the sights of what many call the world's most beautiful Taco Bell.

"I come from Germany to eat here," said a young man sitting with a friend and relative.

Susan Fontanez was on vacation from Tampa Bay with her family and says he couldn't resist stopping for some cheap eats.

"We pulled over, we went in and we were like 'we're in Taco Bell Heaven!' It's amazing. It's amazingly done and the acoustics are great with the music and the fireplace is nice. It's pretty incredible."

For the past two months, this legendary Taco Bell, complete with walk-up take-out window and surfboard rack, has been under renovation, reopening for a grand launch on Saturday as a Taco Bell cantina.

Adam Moore, Taco Bell Area Coach with franchisee Golden Gate Bell says, "The cantina has a whole new urban menu, the twisted freezes with alcohol and beer with your taco."

The renovated restaurant also will be one of the first equipped with recycling and compost bins in order to prevent littering on the beach.

While this isn't the first cantina location -- there are more than 40 across the country -- it is the first place where you can order an adult beverage, have it delivered to you as you lounge in a padded seat in front of a $100,000 fireplace overlooking a million-dollar view of the ocean.

Mark Claussen has been a regular here for decades and says it's a place where the food is affordable and memories are made.

"You would bring your date here because it was inexpensive but romantic. Some people have even proposed!"

It's also a place where locals are willing to bend their "food rules" just a bit.

When asking a family from Marin why they come to eat at a fast food chain when they have an abundance of food options in their own area, they chalk it up to the environment.

"We love it and this is the best view. The whole ambiance is being like, somewhere else. It's just special and it's fun to come here and enjoy the beach. You can't beat it."

The restaurant is hosting a grand re-opening on Saturday, July 13, starting at noon where there will be free tacos for the first 150 guests.
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