World's First Taco Bell Container Store

Food trucks, pop-up eateries and food halls have dominated the urban dining lifestyle over the years.

Now, Irvine-based Taco Bell is adding its own spin to the alternative building movement with a restaurant made from shipping containers.

The 1080-square-foot restaurant, which first appeared earlier this year at Texas music festival South by Southwest, is coming to South Gate later this year. The restaurant, made of five cargo containers, is run by Denver-based Alvarado Companies. The Taco Bell franchise operates 110 restaurants in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Wisconsin and California. Most of its local restaurants are in the greater Los Angeles area.

Alvarado is working with Brooklyn-based SG Blocks, which builds retail, commercial, military and residential structures from shipping containers. Once the “utility work, paving and landscaping” are complete, the world’s first shipping container Taco Bell should open by the end of the year, a representative for both companies said.

“We love the idea of building a store out of a container,” Jeff Geller, Alvarado’s executive vice president, said in a statement. “Taco Bell has a mission to be as green as possible and as a franchisee, we want to follow in its path.”

The container-based Taco Bell is at 13601 Garfield Ave. in South Gate. The restaurant offers the full Taco Bell menu. All customer seating is exterior. One of the five containers houses an ADA-compliant restroom.

SG Blocks’ other container restaurants, bars and coffee shops are in Oakland, New York and Asheville, North Carolina.

In other Taco Bell news, the chain announced Wednesday that it is bringing back its “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” World Series promotion.

The chain will give away a free Doritos Locos Taco if a player steals a base during any game of the World Series.

If a base is stolen in game one or two, the free tacos will be given away on Nov. 2. If the base is stolen in Games 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7, the freebie day will be Nov. 10. The World Series match up has not been decided.

Contact the writer: nluna@scng.com