Taco Bell Cantina on State Street served its first drink on Friday after a year-long battle over receiving a liquor license. 

Taco Bell Area Supervisor Dan Martin said he is very excited for the future of Taco Bell Cantina.

“We are expecting a 16 percent increase in sales based off of how the other Taco Bell Cantinas do in the country,” Martin said.

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Every day from 2 to 5 p.m., customers can get a dollar off their alcohol purchase during happy hour, Martin said.

Martin said their goal is to be a responsible restaurant that serves alcohol. There is a lot of security in place, including cameras and ID scanners. Every employee who serves alcohol must complete the ServSafe alcohol training.

Alcohol will only be served until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

“We are not trying to compete with the bars. We are not going to be in a wage battle over who sells alcohol the cheapest,” Martin said.

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The restaurant is currently in a trial period, and Martin hopes that they will eventually get the official liquor license. When receiving the license, it was not specified how long the trial period is, but Martin thinks it will be about six months.

The drink menu includes four types of wine, four types of beer and “Twisted Freezes,” drinks mixed with an agave based wine that tastes like tequila, Martin said.

Andrea Berkeland became the first customer to purchase an alcoholic drink. She said she loves Spotted Cow, and Taco Bell’s price was set just right. She wasn’t sure, however, if the new addition to the restaurant will increase her visits.

Andrea Berkeland buys the first alcoholic drink from Taco Bell Cantina
Courtney Erdman/The Badger Herald

“Maybe I would come more often if they had margaritas,” Berkeland said with a laugh.