BUCKHANNON - The wait is over for the new Taco Bell in the Buckhannon.
The store served its first customers on Saturday and locals began lining up outside the Taco Bell as early as 8:30 a.m. for the doors to open at 10 a.m.. Workers had been preparing for the weekend rush that was anticipated once the location was finally open to the public.
"Things are awesome," Taco Bell Regional Manager Jim Cheek said on Thursday. "I think we're going to be very busy Saturday and Sunday. Everybody has been talking about the store for a long, long time. We have gotten nothing but positive feedback from everybody, especially the college kids. They're just buzzing with excitement."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Melissa Toothman
Friends and family members are joined for the opening of Taco Bell. Pictured on the left side of the table, from left to right, are Rebecca Lynn Marsh and Carl Rowan of Buckhannon with Maya Rowan, 10, Kelly Scott, 9 and Adam Asbury, 11, of Buckhannon on the left end of the table. Members of this group waited outside Saturday for Taco Bell to open for as long as two hours, they said.
It didn't take long before tables inside the restaurant filled up with hungry customers.
"It gives us a variety of foods that we can eat," Brady Teets, 15, who became the restaurant's first eat-in customer, said.
A group of family members and family friends were next in line.
"They have good food and good drinks," Maya Rowan, 10, of Buckhannon said. "It's good."
Rowan, her family and some family friends all lined up together to get a first taste of the menu Saturday in Buckhannon. Members of their party were waiting as long as two hours outside the restaurant while others joined them an hour later.
The Taco Bell franchise is the exclusive location to get flavors of Mountain Dew, like the Baja Blast, that aren't sold in stores. Cheek said he recommends that the public taste the Rio Locos Tacos. General Manager of the Buckhannon Taco Bell Kristina Harlan also recommends them because the three Doritos flavored taco shells create a variety of taste.
Before the Buckhannon location opened, the nearest Taco Bell locations were in Elkins and Clarksburg. That didn't stop some local customers from traveling out of their way to Taco Bell.
"Since I knew there was one in Elkins, I was like 'yeah, they have got to get one down here," Tarana Landis, of Buckhannon, said Saturday, adding that she was most excited for the opening because she didn't "have to travel to Elkins. It's a lot closer to home."
Staff members may have opened the doors early to let in the morning rush, but business only picked up by later that evening. At about 6 p.m., the line for the drive-thru extended onto East Main Street with vehicles signaling their anticipated turn into the Taco Bell parking lot with no room remaining to allow them to
"It's a great feeling," Harlan said. "We're ready to serve the public. You can see everybody has been waiting."
Operating hours are from 10 a.m. to midnight everyday. Taco Bell locations will soon be serving breakfast in addition to their menu options.
Breakfast at the Buckhannon location will be served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. starting March 27.