Fast food fetish

Madison Taco Bell
can’t re-open fast enough

Company plans mid-November grand opening


(November 2009)
Read previous Don Ward columns!
Don Ward

It’s nearly midnight and you’re driving home and you’re starving. Suddenly, the image of a hot, delicious Taco Bell Burrito Supreme comes to mind. Or the mouth-watering nacho chips and melted cheese.
It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s affordable. You head for the drive-thru.... But wait!
Then you remember: Taco Bell of Madison is closed! They knocked it down in September so they could build a new one. Can’t these guys speed it up? Don’t they know we’re all dying out here as we think outside the bun?
Nothing says, “I want my chalupa!” like that hunger pain in your side at midnight when you’re cruising down Clifty Drive in Madison and see that
concrete slab that was once Taco Bell.
Why do we always crave the things we can’t have?
Fortunately, the wait is nearly over. Clinton Smith, owner of C&M Restaurants in Jeffersonville, Ind., says the newly built restaurant will open in mid-November. His company owns the Madison Taco Bell and 16 other area locations in southern Indiana and north central Kentucky, and employs 450 people. He promises that, when finished, the Madison Taco Bell will be bigger and better – and yes, even faster!
In fact, the new prototype design is only the second of its kind in the region, after Seymour, which got its newly built restaurant ahead of Madison. “The lines were long when we re-opened the one in Seymour.”
Smith says the new building will increase the seating from 60 to 90, expand the kitchen from two to three food lines, increase the drive-thru from one to two windows, increase the staff from 40 to 60 part-and full-time employees, and increase the parking lot on the east side.
Several employees have been working at other area restaurants during the construction, he said. Arc Construction has built many Taco Bells and took only 70 days to complete this project. The normal shutdown is 90 days, Smith said.
“The Madison location was the second one I opened, so that one is near and dear to my heart. It has been very successful, so we wanted to do it right,” said Smith, 55. He is a former employee of Pepsico Co., the corporate parent of Taco Bell and KFC, among others. Seymour was Smith’s first Taco Bell franchise. It opened in December 1988. Madison was his second; it opened a year later.
Smith says he knows a lot of people in Madison and has seen many of them showing up at his other restaurants to quench their Taco Bell cravings.
“They tell me they drove all the way there just to eat at Taco Bell,” he said.
That’s well and good, Mr. Smith, but we want our Taco Bell back in Madison, and we want it now!
Put another way: “Yo quiero Taco Bell!”

• Don Ward is the editor, publisher and owner of RoundAbout. Call him at (812) 273-2259 or email him at: Don@RoundAboutMadison.com.


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