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Here’s What Taco Bell Looked Like When It First Opened

The theme of Taco Bell’s restaurants hasn’t changed too drastically, but their menu sure has.

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1st Taco BellCourtesy Taco Bell

The very first restaurant

Glen Bell opened the very first Taco Bell in 1962. It was located at 7112 Firestone Boulevard in Downey, California. Measuring at 400 square feet with only a walk-up window, the small stucco building displayed colorful letters on the front and a large sign of a sombrero and a bell. Taco Bell offered Reader’s Digest a few photos of what the very first store looked like. This is why Taco Bell is actually one of the healthiest fast food chains.

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60s kitchenCourtesy Taco Bell

Delicious and unique fast food

Before opening up Taco Bell, Glen Bell owned and operated a few other restaurants. His goal with Taco Bell was to stand out from his competitors, such as McDonald’s. Glen Bell introduced Mexican-inspired food to the masses. The concept was so new to his customers that they even referred to tacos as “tay-kohs.” Here’s what Walmart looked like when it first opened.

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Original Menu w Kermit BeckyCourtesy Taco Bell

The original menu

Kermit Becky (pictured above), a retired Los Angeles policeman, became the first franchisee of Taco Bell when he opened his first restaurant in Torrance, California, in 1964. As you can see on the menu above, all food items were only 19 cents. Plus, get a look at what the McDonald’s menu looked like the year you were born.

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Early Asset025-2Courtesy Taco Bell

Continued success

Bell took the successful franchise public in 1970 and it has continued to grow since. With over 7,000 locations across the United States and another over 500 locations in nearly 30 countries around the world, they continue to provide customers with bold flavors, quality ingredients, and breakthrough value. They launched a breakfast menu in 2014, allowed for mobile ordering, and launched delivery nationwide earlier this year. From releasing a clothing line with Forever 21 to hosting weddings at their Las Vegas Cantina and even launching a pop-up hotel later this summer, Taco Bell continues to push boundaries on how fans can experience the brand. Continue the trip back in time with these photos of what the first-ever Costco looked like.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is an Associate Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She writes for, helps lead the editorial relationship with our partners, manages our year-round interns, and keeps the hundreds of pieces of content our team produces every month organized. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.

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