When Whataburger arrived in Fayetteville last summer it was a major news story. People were so excited to embrace the Texas-based chain that the restaurant literally stopped traffic on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard for days and weeks.
This year, the big fast food story in Fayetteville appears to be that a Taco Bell Cantina is going to take over the valuable space on Dickson Street that's been home to the Common Grounds coffeehouse for several years. This is according to a report from the Fayetteville Flyer, and of course it's the most-commented story for the site both on it's own site and its Facebook page.
It's just like the saying goes: Keep Fayetteville Funky with a Fafillion Fast Food Feasts. Or something like that.
The general response to this seems to be pretty strongly negative so far. I get it. We're talking about replacing a beloved local spot with a national chain. That's not appealing even though Dickson already has a Jimmy John's, Waffle House, Qdoba, and Chipotle. Few want to see Dickson become more nationalized, and the Common Grounds space is considered a pretty prime spot as it's at the bottom of the valley directly across from the Walton Arts Center.
However, it should be noted, this will not be a traditional Taco Bell. I assume the food will be basically the same, but the "Cantina" concept means they will be serving alcohol (see the photo above), so now, instead of going to Taco Bell to satisfy your need for a 4th meal or nurse your hangover, you will soon be able to ring the bell just to keep the drinks flowing.
Additionally, the indoor atmosphere is supposedly going to blend in more to the natural atmosphere instead of a traditional Taco Bell with neon and fluorescent lights. It will probably look something like this:
The Cantina's debuted last year in Chicago and San Francisco, and they're beginning to be rolled out more frequently across the country.
So what do you guys think? Were Qdoba and Chipotle not enough to satisfy your cheap Mexican-ish cravings on Dickson? Will you celebrate Hog wins by stumbling into the...Taco Bell Cantina?