Laguna Beach Taco Bell, is the oldest Taco Bell in Orange County. Situated at 699 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, the historic restaurant is closing. So, September 7, 2021, marks its last day of operation. Originally opened in 1967, just five years after the restaurant chain was founded, the iconic design is still visible in the current property.
This location holds a bit of Laguna Beach history:
- In 1967, the tacos were only $.19.
- Famed psychologist Timothy Leary (proponant of psychedelic drugs in the 1960s) used it as his hangout. And, it is where he, along with the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, was believed to have used the restaurant as their drug dealing hub.
- And, former Laguna Beach mayor, Cheryl Kinsman was one of its earliest customers during her college years.
- Many flash-back scenes from Kings of Cool, by crime novelist Don Winslow, are set at the Laguna Beach Taco Bell where a character referred to as “Taco Jesus” handed out free food to a variety “of LSD-eating disciples.”
The original arched design is the creation of California architect Robert L. McKay. So, the design, suggestive of Spanish California mission style with the tiled roofs and bell tower were a staple of the design for many years.
But, you’ll still likely be able to get tacos at your favorite local hangout. The Laguna Beach City Planning Commission unanimously approved permits for the remodel. The change includes a change of ownership as well. The new owners, a local chain based in San Diego called “The Taco Stand” will take over the property. The remodel includes outdoor patio seating, a request for motorcycle parking spaces. And, the local chain is family-owned and proposed a different vibe from the national chain. Inspired by the taco stands of Tijuana and others along the Baja Peninsula makes this taqueria a bit more authentic to its Mexican roots.
You’ll find a more complete story, along with architectural renderings of the proposed new building in this Stu News Laguna article.
Laguna Beach Taco Bell Image courtesy of Google Maps ©2021
Laguna Beach is a very walkable community. So, if you want to live where you can walk to your favorite new taco hangout, consider living in Laguna Village.
And, here are the latest homes available for purchase in Laguna Village. Take a look. Then give me a call. I’ll help you find the spot to start your local Laguna lifestyle.