Taco Bell to close, rebuild

The rumors that Bowling Green’s new Taco Bell is going to be open in the fall and will be the largest Taco Bell in the world are just that ? rumors.

Although there will eventually be a new Taco Bell built in town, there is no proof of it being the biggest in the world, according to George Kentris, one of three owners.

Kentris laughed when he heard the rumor. He does not know how the rumor began and certainly could not back it up with any sort of evidence.

The restaurant will close in September and re-open in the same location sometime in December or January 2007, according to Monica Hawke, media specialist for Taco Bell. She said during the 90-day construction period, employees will be transferred to other stores in the Perrysburg and Findlay areas.

Working for Taco Bell of Northwest Ohio, Kentris and others work for a franchise of 31 restaurants in the area. He said that though the new Taco Bell won’t be the biggest in the world, it might be the biggest in the area.

“It is the largest in the area in terms of seats,” Kentris said. “The current Taco Bell has 65 seats and the new one will have 117.”

Along with the other owners, Kentris, is optimistic that locals will be pleased with the nicer, newer building coming into town.

“I think people will be happy; I’m just sorry we have to close down during construction because a lot of customers will be craving Taco Bell,” he said.

The new model for the Taco Bell dining room is fast and casual, according to Kentris. He said the dining area is more comfortable, accommodating and attractive.

“It is identical to the one that was just re-modeled in Perrysburg,” he said.

Hawke said the Taco Bell in town will display the most updated store model. The current building is known as a “mission star” store, while the new restaurant will be under the new model name of “bold choice.”

These new “bold choice” restaurants have been built recently in neighboring towns such as Fremont, Tiffin, Defiance and Findlay.

“Each year, we plan on closing more and more ‘mission star’ stores and replacing them with the new ‘bold choice’ stores,” Hawke said.

Construction for the new restaurant will last between 80 and 90 days. They are waiting on city approval to start the renovations, Kentris said.

“We hope to complete the project as soon as possible for the city of Bowling Green,” Kentris said.

Owners said they have taken the necessary steps for approval although nothing will be certain until meeting with the city, August 9. Owners are currently waiting on the necessary approval for seating and parking as well as the approval by the state for building permits.

However, Kentris does not think they will have any trouble getting the new restaurant off the ground.

Both Hawke and Kentris believe there may be a slight increase in the need for workers when the bigger restaurant attracts a 15 to 20 percent sales increase. However, at this time in the permit stage, they are not sure how many additional workers will be hired.