SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — If you are ever driving down Victory Drive, you’ve likely seen the sign that says “Taco Bell Drive Thru” with an added hat on the top. In between Wendy’s and Arby’s, this sign is a piece of raw history.
A Taco Bell employee told News 3 that the sign belonged to the original Taco Bell chain that started in 1962 before rebranding in the 80s. It marks the location of the original store in Savannah.
This style of sign was used by the company for the first 10 years of its existence to appeal to the new drive-thru market at that time.
Rarely found around the country today, the company launched an effort to preserve this type of history as an initiative called #savenumerouno in 2015.
In 1962, founder Glen Bell opened the first Taco Bell in Downey, California, where the 400-square-foot, walk-in-only building served tacos, tostadas, burritos, frijoles and chiliburgers all for 19 cents.
Introducing fast Mexican-style foods for 24 years to America, the store closed in 1986. Facing demolition in 2014, the company knew they had to do something.
So in 2015, they moved the entire store to the Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine, California, where it stands today.
Next time you drive past the Savannah sign, treat it like a historical landmark celebrating the chain’s origins (and hopefully the return of tacos for 19 cents).