Believed to be the first tribally owned Taco Bell in the nation, a new quick-serve restaurant is slated to open on the Morongo Indian Reservation on Tuesday, February 3.
It’s located off of I-10 on Seminole Drive near the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon. The new Taco Bell is replacing the A&W restaurant that closed down in May of 2014, which was the last remaining A&W in the Coachella Valley.
According to a release from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, most of the new restaurant’s employees live in Banning, Cabazon and Whitewater.
“We are delighted that Taco Bell has chosen the Morongo Indian Reservation as its newest location,” said Chairman Robert Martin of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. “The addition of the nationally known Taco Bell brand will add to Morongo’s strong economic base and provide local jobs.”
The restaurant is majority-owned by Morongo, which partnered with longtime Taco Bell franchisee Mark Cook, who has owned and operated numerous successful Taco Bell restaurants across the Inland region for nearly 44 years.
“This great site is passed by millions of travelers every year, and I’m thrilled to be working with Morongo to bring this new restaurant to their family of businesses along the busy 1-10 corridor,” Cook said.
The new restaurant is another step in Morongo’s master-planned development blueprint for several miles along Interstate 10 in Cabazon.
Officials said Morongo is currently working with Forest City Enterprises Inc., a national real estate company, to further explore and expand the tribe’s retail, hospitality and service-related capabilities.