Que lastima! We are sad to report that Taco Bell Grande's two Shenzhen locations have closed for good. That leaves Amigos (Shekou
and Renmin Nan Lu
) as the only fully "Mexican" restaurants in Shenzhen.
The TBG in the Mixc closed on Feb. 20th, with Central Walk not far behind on March 5th.
Not surprisingly, these closures actually followed the demise of the only other TBG in China; the Shanghai location, where the brand was tested in 2003, closed at the end of Jan, 2008. The president of YUM Brands (which owns KFC and Pizza Hut) said back in the test phase, "We use much better materials — very little rice, no beans. We also obviously adjusted the sauce while remaining true to the Mexican heritage." Hmmm... "Mexican food" with no beans and toned-down salsa; could that explain the closure?
The Shanghai outlet was replaced by "East Dawning" (东方既白, Dong Fang Ji Bai) a new brand of Chinese fast food also belonging to YUM.
Frankly, I'm stunned. YUM is the largest fast-food company in China (over 2000 KFCs, over 2800 restaurants with other brands included); they should have done better marketing Mexican food.
I grieve. Yo SIEMPRE quiero Taco Bell--even the watered-down Chinese version.