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Taco Bell closed, juice bar moving in

Renee Shadforth

ATu quieres Taco Bell?

If so, you might have to wait, or drive to Reno.

The Mexican fast food chain pulled its Express location from the Gateway Shopping Center last month. After roughly 10 years at the location, franchisee Gary Lyon said he did not want to enter the long-term lease offered by the center.

“We would have had to raise our prices,” said Lyon, who also holds Taco Bell franchises in Grass Valley, Marysville, Yuba City and Lincoln.

However, Taco Bell and Lyon do not plan on leaving Truckee just yet. For the past three years, Lyon has wanted to open a free-standing location with a drive-thru in town, and he said he is currently looking at a few sites.

Although he says the community would support a freestanding Taco Bell, he’s not so sure about the Town of Truckee.

“We have to get through the bureaucratic red tape of the city before we can build,” Lyon said.

Lyon said he’s also concerned the town will not support another drive-thru. Currently, McDonald’s, Dairy Queen and Burger King are the only restaurants with drive-thrus in town.

Lyon said he wants to begin construction on the new Taco Bell by next summer, but he’s not sure that is a realistic timeline.

“It’s up to the city for that time frame,” he said.

However, it’s not the town giving Lyon grief. Lyon submitted a permit application to build a 2,400-square-foot Taco Bell in the highway commercial zone on Deerfield Drive off of Cold Stream Road where The Beginnings restaurant is located.

“It’s the one zone in town that can allow a drive-thru,” said Tony Lashbrook, Truckee’s community development director.

The plans called for indoor and outdoor dining areas, a drive-thru and approximately 30 parking spaces.

To the chagrin of the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, the plans also placed the prospective parking lot in the middle of Cold Creek’s flood plain (or flood-hazard area).

Lyon asked the control board to change the flood plain, since a parking lot currently exists in on that portion of the property already.

The control board did not approve, and the Truckee River Watershed Council suggested Lyon redesign the project to avoid construction within the flood plain.

“I don’t know if that site’s going to work out or not,” Lyon said. “That’s a big question mark.”

Denyelle Nishimori, assistant town planner, estimates half of the property is within the flood plain. She said nothing has changed with Taco Bell’s building permit application status since May, but Lyon has been working with the water quality control board and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to change the location of the flood plain to support the Taco Bell project.

So, for now, Lyon said he’s looking into other site options.

“The city doesn’t want fast food restaurants in town,” he said. “They’ve said exclusively ‘no fast food.’ They’re making it absolutely difficult for people to come in. It’s going to be impossible to get a cheap meal in town.”

Rocktronic features juice, oxygen

By Renee Shadforth

Sierra Sun

Taco Bell’s out of the Gateway Shopping Center, but Tahoe’s newest juice bar is in.

Rocktonic Juice and Coffee, a locally owned and operated business, has started setting up shop in Taco Bell Express’ old location in the shopping center. The owners don’t have an opening date set, but they said they hope to open their doors right before Thanksgiving.

The new shop will serve custom-blended smoothies, fruit and vegetable juice, espresso, energy drinks, snacks and oxygen in what the owners call “an upscale, urban environment.”

Owners Ted and Diane Cohn opened their first Rocktonic in The Shops at Heavenly Village earlier this year. The Truckee location will be their second store, and they’re trying to franchise nationally. The Cohns, who call themselves “Silicon Valley escapees,” live in Truckee.

Get more information on Rocktonic at http://www.rocktonic.com.


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