CHESANING TWP. — The township is about to get its first-ever Taco Bell, with doors expected to open in about a week, officials say.
The restaurant at the northeast corner of M-57 and M-52, is still waiting on Consumers Energy to supply a permanent source of power, and for the driveway to be poured with cement.
Originally, the Grand Blanc-based Great Lakes Taco franchise aimed to open its latest Mexican fast-food restaurant at the spot, going up on vacant land between the former Brass Bell building and the corner, on Dec. 4.
Supply chain issues delayed the arrival of doors and windows to the site. But now all the needed equipment has arrived and been installed.
Also, the staff is ready to go, officials said.
“We’re optimistic they’ll be open in a week or so,” Chesaning Township Supervisor Joseph Ruthig said Friday.
Great Lakes Taco, which owns and operates about 27 Taco Bells in mid-Michigan, opened a Taco Bell in the village of Montrose about a year ago.
The new restaurant in Chesaning Township will be virtually identical to the one in Montrose, a smaller-than-average prefabricated building with limited indoor seating — about 12 tables.
“But it will be easier to get in and out of than the Taco Bell in Montrose,” Ruthig said.
Taco Bell officials have noted that about 97-98% of their business these days is drive-thru, making the optimal building footprint smaller than most previously built Taco Bells.
The Chesaning Township Planning Commission paved the way for the new eatery, approving a special use permit for the site.
“I feel it’s good for the community — it brings more business,” Planning Commission Chairman Philip Schmiege said Friday. “They’ve had some delays, but I believe they’re hurrying as fast as they can go.”
Ruthig said when he opts for a fast-food lunch, usually it’s eaten in his car on his way to some destination. He generally avoids Taco Bell but only because with the first bite, the tacos crumble and fall in his lap.
But things are about to change. Ruthig said he plans to be a customer at the new Taco Bell, because it’s located just a few blocks from his home.
“I’m looking forward to eating tacos at home at the kitchen table,” he said.
Bob Grabowski, chief financial officer at Great Lakes Taco, was unavailable for comment Friday.
In Shiawassee County, Taco Bell restaurants are located in Owosso, Durand and Perry.