BY JONATHAN M. ALEXANDER
The Taco Bell that suddenly popped up on U.S. Highway 70 and is the first in the town limits, opened on Friday.
The franchise owner is Luihn Four, who own 75 Taco Bells in the Triangle.
“We were down the street at South Wilmington Street and we were expanding our business and we thought that would be a great location for us to serve the community,” Jodi Luihn, president of the franchise company, said.
Luihn said this restaurant is probably the biggest of all Taco Bells in the Triangle, and will have a patio outside that most Taco Bells in the Triangle don’t have.
There is also a KFC-Taco Bell restaurant in the Cleveland community, on N.C. 42.
The Garner store is located off U.S. 70 in the old location of the Locked & Loaded Grill on 1125 Hwy 70 West. It is one of the first restaurants in a while not expected to go in the fast-growing White Oak area. But he said he wouldn’t rule out building another near White Oak.
Luihn, a Cary native, said he chose the current location because Timber Drive and U.S. 70 seemed to be one of the main thoroughfares in the town.
The fast-food restaurant will employee about 40 people, he said.
“So it will help the economy of Garner hopefully,” Luihn said. “A lot of times we’re the first employer for kids. So we really take it upon ourselves to employee the kids of the world and teach them job skills so after, they can go on to do others things in life.”
Luihn Four became interested in the property after the previous building owners, Locked & Loaded, moved their business to a bigger location on McCormick Street.
The restaurant did not go before the planning board or the town council.
Brad Bass said because the restaurant was already moving into an existing restaurant and the changes were not very significant, it only needed to be addressed at staff level for site plan approval.