Finally, Brookings to get Taco Bell

Officials have confirmed that a Taco Bell restaurant will be coming to Brookings and opening in mid-August this year. 

The restaurant will potentially be located north of Lowe’s Home Improvement on 25th Avenue according to Dennis Bielfeldt, co-owner of Den-Wil Properties in Brookings. Bielfeldt owns the 25-acre field north of Lowe’s. 

Bielfeldt said Taco Bell is something students will enjoy and can easily get to. 

“We’ve been working on this deal for a while,” Bielfeldt said. “We want it to be congruent and consistent with the Division I university.”

Barry Zelickson with Border Foods confirmed the new restaurant Tuesday. Border Foods Inc. is a franchisee of Taco Bell restaurants based in Minnesota. They have nearly 100 locations throughout Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

“We hope to open middle of August. I can confirm we will have the best Taco Bell food you’ve ever had,” Zelickson said. 

Rumor was floating around campus this week after City Councilman Oepke Niemeyer announced it at the Students’ Association meeting Monday night.

Mike Struck, the community development director for Brookings, said Bielfeldt came to the Board of Adjustment meeting Jan. 21 to request a variance, which was approved. 

“They are trying to provide some amenities they feel would benefit Taco Bell in a college town with some of that outdoor patio-type seating,” Struck said. “They were trying to cooperate and make it bike friendly and providing some bike racks.”

Bielfeldt and the franchise’s next step will be to get drainage plans approved, Struck said. Once that is done, they can get a building permit and start construction. 

One of Taco Bell’s main competitors is Taco John’s, located on Medary Avenue and closer to campus. Jeremy McKay, the general manager at the Brookings’ Taco John’s location, is not worried about the upcoming competition.

“Honestly, we just try to provide great food and service. That will never change,” McKay said. “We are one of the busiest Taco John’s in the country and we look forward to the competition.”

In terms of staying competitive, McKay said the service will speak for itself.

“We have a lot of products they don’t have. Brookings loves its Taco John’s,” McKay said. “We are close to campus and we try to do our best and let that speak for itself.”

WHERE:

North of Lowes on 25th ave. 

 WHEN:

Mid-August 2016