Taco Bell, now a massive international corporation, hasn't forgotten where it came from: a humble taco shack in Downey. So when that taco hut was in danger of being razed and lost forever earlier this year, Taco Bell stepped in to make sure that the "Numero Uno" location, as they're calling it, doesn't bite the dust, reports Los Angeles magazine. The property owners want the taco shack gone and the lot empty by December 1, so this Thursday night at 10:30 pm, the first Taco Bell will be moved 45 miles from Downey to Taco Bell's HQ in Irvine.
The original Taco Bell was built on Firestone Boulevard in 1962, by Taco Bell founder Glen Bell, who's credited with popularizing a particular brand of inauthentic but nonetheless delicious Mexican fast food that today is found all over. Taco Bell operated at the site until 1986, when it was shuttered by the company; the 20-by-20-foot building housed an independent taco restaurant after thaty, according to Eater LA. Earlier this year, the Downey Conservancy sounded the alarm that the structure might be in danger—a fence had been put up around the perimeter and the Conservancy named the building "endangered."
"When we heard about the chance of it being demolished, we had to step in," Taco Bell's CEO told Los Angeles magazine. "We owe that to our fans. We owe that to Glen Bell." Taco Bell has yet to figure out what to do with its pioneering store and will keep it in storage until a decision's made, says the the OC Register.
But taco enthusiasts can definitely get a good look at the place as it makes its trip: Taco Bell's lined up "designated restaurants along the route" as spots where people can come to watch the historic eatery make the trip. (Can't make it out? There's a webcam set up to livestream the whole thing, too.) The building's already on supports and ready to hit the road on Thursday.
· The First Taco Bell Will Be Saved from Demolition! [LA Mag]
· Taco Bell Saves Its First-Ever Location From Demolition [Eater LA]
· The World's First Taco Bell is in Trouble [Curbed LA]
· The Oddball Original Locations of Los Angeles's Most Famous Fast Food Chains [Curbed LA]