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I Spent St. Patrick's Day at the Taco Bell "Club" in Vegas

Because why not?
All photos by the author

Like many Americans, I spent my St. Patrick's Day celebrating my Irish heritage by getting embarrassingly drunk in public. Unlike the rest of you, I abstained from the usual Irish pub bar crawl circuit and instead spent the holiday exclusively at the alcohol-serving 24-hour Taco Bell Cantina in Las Vegas.

Why choose this location for my holiday revelry? Two reasons: One, I've wanted an excuse to go there since it opened last fall. News and social media posts about the location made it seem like some sort of nightclub and, as a Taco Bell diehard who occasionally enjoys a bit of nightlife, this could very well be my pilgrimage to Mecca. Two, why the hell not?


In my Uber Pool over to the two-story flagship in the middle of the Vegas strip, both the driver and other passengers remarked on how excited they were for me after I shared my plans for the evening. None had been before but had all heard the legends on social media, and were all kelly green with envy that I'd be spending my St. Patty's there.

Once at the location, I quickly assessed that this "Taco Bell club" I'd been hearing about for months was definitely not a club. It felt much like a regular Taco Bell, but with a DJ. Still, a fun, thumping EDM mix was blaring from the speakers and the crowd seemed pretty spirited for so early in the evening so I pushed aside all the preconceived notions I had about the place, got in line to order, and started my night.

My first drink was a Mountain Dew Baja Blast Freeze with tequila in it. It's supremely validating to see a concoction you've been whipping up at home for years make it to the big time with corporate's blessing. Because I planned on having a few of these over the course of the night, I splashed out extra to get it in an obnoxiously large plastic cyclone souvenir thing for the sake of refillability.

I explored the premises and mentally mapped out what was to be my domain for the remainder of the night. It didn't take long. The first floor was an outdoor patio area and an open-floor ordering and waiting space with some merch racks. The second floor had a seating area, the DJ, and restroom.


I spoke with the DJ and learned his name was Tony Sinatra and he'd been DJing for 18 years before winding up at Taco Bell. He seemed pretty happy with the freedom he was given, noting that as long as he kept profanity out of the music, he pretty much had carte blanche to do what he wanted.

"You play to the crowd and time of night," said Sinatra. "I find some fun remixes so it's not too Top 40. And trap usually gets everyone going."

I finished my Freeze in worryingly short time and made my way back downstairs for a refill and some food. The cashier informed me that my assumption about refills was incorrect and I'd have to purchase another dumb plastic tube cup if I wanted another large Freeze. Fucking the environment, I threw away my souvenir cup and ordered a lemonade and blue raspberry Freeze with tequila.

Cheesy Bacon Jalapeño Dippers were also ordered so I wouldn't be drinking all night on an empty stomach. The dippers were part of the location's exclusive "shareables" menu section. As I was alone, I did not share mine, but had I been with company I still wouldn't have shared because I am a gluttonous American and portions are a made up construct anyway.

Now with a little liquid courage in me, I began chatting up guests to see why they, like I, were spending their St. Patty's in a fast food chain.

"We take an annual trip to Vegas each St. Patty's," said a representative from a bachelorette party visiting from Sacramento. "This place has been all over social media. We had to check it out."

"We're not spending it here. We're just eating, bro," said Antoine, a friendly guy visiting from San Diego who was dancing around the patio.