Cheesy Gordita Crunches, Doritos Tacos, and Baja Blast could be coming to a corner near you — that is, if you’re a resident of Pensacola’s East Hill neighborhood.
Southeast QSR LLC, a large Taco Bell franchisee, has applied for a construction permit for 1201 East Cervantes Street. That site, currently home to a former Circle K convenience store, is located across the street from the neighborhood’s Publix supermarket which opened last year. That property as well as the parcels immediately to the east and south — 724 North 12th Avenue and 1211 East Cervantes Street — are under contract. The combined site would be about 0.59 acres.
The new restaurant would use Taco Bell’s “Explorer Lite” store design, an iteration of the “Modern Explorer” redesign the company unveiled in 2016. Because the site isn’t located within any of the city’s five review districts, the store’s design wouldn’t require approval by any city boards.
Both of the homes located on the parcels south and east of the Circle K site would have to be moved or razed under the plan. Both homes are more than 100 years old, though both appear to have undergone numerous additions and alterations. Eric Heseman, owner of the house-turned-office at 1211 East Cervantes Street, said this week that the building is in poor shape and is currently being used only as storage.
Southeast QSR did not return multiple requests for comment. The company operates five other Taco Bell restaurants in Escambia County, on Airport Boulevard, Mobile Highway, North Davis Highway, East Nine Mile Road, and South New Warrington Road.
City officials confirmed Thursday that the permit has not yet been approved.