Excited crowd welcomes Morgan County’s newest restaurant
By Goose Lindsay
After months of anticipation, Taco Bell in Wartburg opened Sunday afternoon with crowds gathered outside the front door waiting to get inside, while others waited in a long drive thru line stretching onto Highway 62 at times.
“I’m ecstatic right now, this has been a long time coming,” Taco Bell General Manager Woody Smith said after opening the doors at 4 pm Sunday. “All total, you’re probably looking at eight to nine months of planning, building and getting everything ready. This is a great day for us, great day for Taco Bell, great day for Morgan County and a great day for the city of Wartburg.”
Sunday’s opening didn’t have a lot of hype. The store was only opened for four hours, which was by design.
“We wanted to make sure all the equipment was going to work properly. That way if we had to shut something down, it wouldn’t affect a whole day of business,” Smith said.
Taco Bell’s first full day is set for today (Monday) and the fast food restaurant will be open seven days a week from 10 am until midnight each day.
The lobby is currently open for carryout only, but that will only last until Sept. 15 when the lobby will close. Smith said they wanted to give everyone a chance to see the inside of the store before limiting access due to COVID-19.
Smith said breakfast hours will come in the future.
“The plan is to open for breakfast in January,” he said. “All that could change depending on COVID-19, but when that happens we will be open every day from 7 am until midnight.”
Taco Bell is expected to be a jolt for the local economy. Taco Bell hired 42 people for its opening and taxes collected with help both the city of Wartburg and Morgan County.
Smith added Taco Bell would like to thank the city of Wartburg and Morgan County government for its support in getting the store up and running.