Taco Bell adds 5th restaurant in Cleveland, Tennessee

**FILE** Customers take advantage of sunny skies and eat outside a Taco Bell restaurant in this Dec. 5, 2006, file photo in Burbank, Calif. Fast-food chain operator Yum Brands Inc. is expected to release earnings on Monday, Oct. 8, 2007. (AP Photo/Ric Francis, file)

Taco Bell will open its fifth location Monday in Cleveland, Tennessee, as the Mexican-inspired fast food giant continues to expand in the Chattanooga area where local franchisees now operate nearly three dozen Taco Bell outlets.

Taco Bell's biggest franchisee in the Southeast, the Tacala Companies headquartered near Birmingham, Alabama, has built a 2,700-square-foot Taco Bell at 3089 Pleasant Grove Place SW in Cleveland and hired 30 workers to staff the new eatery. The newest Taco Bell opening Aug. 1 will be open every day from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.

"The Cleveland community members are loyal and supportive fans of Taco Bell," Wendy Graham, Tacala's area coach, said in an announcement of the new facility. "Our new location also provides us the opportunity to fundraise even more for our local Boys & Girls Clubs through our Round-Up 365 program."

The Pleasant Grove Place location will include free Wi-Fi, power outlets and indoor seating for those wanting to dine inside as well as Taco Bell's drive-through window where the fast-food giant sells most of its meals.

While the newly built Cleveland store opens Monday, Tacala is also building another unit in Chattanooga off of Bonny Oaks Drive at 3009 Silverdale Road. Perlman, Marjorie Perlman, a spokeswoman for Tacala, said the new Silverdale Road location "should be opening in late September or early October."

Tacala owns and operates over 300 Taco Bell restaurants across seven states. In the Chattanooga area, Tacala owns 27 restaurants. Another seven Taco Bell restaurants in the area are owned by other franchisees.

Taco Bell was founded in 1962 in Irvine, California and has grown to include more than 7,000 locations across the country. Taco Bell is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc.

- Compiled by Dave Flessner

photo "The Cleveland community members are loyal and supportive fans of Taco Bell," said Tacala Company's Wendy Graham, in an announcement about the new facility.