Belpre hungry for Taco Bell to open in 2018

Photo by Evan Bevins Contractors prepare the site for a planned Taco Bell Wednesday on Washington Boulevard in Belpre.

BELPRE — Taco Bell is being added to the menu in Belpre.

Work recently began on a Washington Boulevard lot next to Belpre Savings Bank. Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz confirmed Wednesday that it will be the location of a Taco Bell.

Lorentz said he’s gotten very positive reactions from people he’s talked to about the development.

“Well, everybody’s tickled to death. You’d think we (were) building a mall,” he said with a laugh. “It’s quick; it’s fast; it’s enjoyable.”

An emailed statement from Taco Bell’s corporate office said the location will open in early 2018.

Photo by Evan Bevins A Washington Boulevard, Belpre, site is being prepared for a Taco Bell, expected to open early next year.

“A new restaurant brings about 40 new jobs to the area,” the statement said.

Karen Waller, executive director of the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce, said the Taco Bell announcement is the latest in a series of positive developments for the community. It follows construction of First Settlement Physical Therapy, First Settlement Orthopaedics and Miller Prosthetics and Orthotics near the Farson Street-Ohio 7 intersection; a dialysis clinic on Main Street; and a planned spring groundbreaking for a Burger King farther up Washington Boulevard, she said.

“The community has asked for that particular chain for a while,” Waller said of Taco Bell. “I think it’s going to be a wonderful addition to the development on that end of Washington Boulevard.”

Waller noted Taco Bell isn’t the only new option being added to Belpre’s dining choices. The former Churn recently reopened as Belair’s Bistro, and the Changed Plate at Memorial Health System’s Belpre Campus will have a grand opening today.