Late-night Taco Bell replaces beloved music venue in Allston, sparking mixed reactions

Late-night Taco Bell replaces beloved music venue in Allston, sparking mixed reactions

Allston/Brighton welcomes new Taco Bell location, offering late-night options for students and young people

Last week, Allston/Brighton gained a new Taco Bell at the former location of Great Scott, a beloved local music venue that closed during the pandemic. While the opening of the fast-food chain has been met with mixed reactions from locals, it offers a beacon of hope for students and young people seeking a late-night joint. Complete with fan favorites like Crunchwrap Supremes and Doritos Locos tacos, this Taco Bell at 1222 Commonwealth Ave. has become a hot topic of conversation in the community.

The Late-night Haven:

Situated on the corner of Harvard Avenue in Allston, this Taco Bell is one of only two with a Boston address. Its late-night hours are a particular draw, as it stays open until 3 a.m. on weekdays and 3:30 a.m. on weekends, with the potential to close even later. For students and night owls craving a post-midnight snack, this Taco Bell fills a void in the area’s nightlife scene.

The Taco Bell Cantina Experience:

While the new location is labeled as a regular Taco Bell on the company’s website, it originally sought a license to serve alcohol, aiming to join the ranks of the Taco Bell Cantinas. Boston University’s neighborhood welcomed its first Taco Bell Cantina in 2020 on Commonwealth Avenue in Brookline, offering alcoholic beverages like boozy Baja Blasts and operating until 1 a.m. Another Cantina followed in Coolidge Corner, known for its extended hours until 2 a.m. The absence of an alcohol license for the Allston Taco Bell disappointed some patrons who were hoping for a Cantina experience closer to home.

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Mixed Reactions and Protests:

The closure of Great Scott, a cherished music venue, left a void in the Allston community. While Taco Bell’s arrival has excited some, others mourn the loss of the iconic venue and have expressed their disappointment through various means. Great Scott had plans to relocate, but those plans seem to have fallen through. The news of Taco Bell replacing the music venue was met with backlash, including an impromptu concert protesting the chain’s presence. Former City Councilor Kendra Lara voiced her concerns, stating that the replacement of Great Scott with Taco Bell should be a cause for alarm.

Late-night Dining Options in Boston:

The late hours of the Allston Taco Bell have sparked discussions about the nightlife scene in Boston. Some have pointed out that Taco Bell is now the only bar in the city open past midnight, highlighting the relatively early closing time of other establishments and the MBTA’s 1 a.m. finish. This has led to debates about the need for more late-night dining options and entertainment venues in the city to cater to a diverse range of residents and visitors.


The opening of Taco Bell in Allston has stirred up a mix of emotions within the community. While some embrace the arrival of a late-night fast-food option, others mourn the loss of Great Scott and express concerns about the changing landscape of the neighborhood. The absence of an alcohol license at the Taco Bell location has disappointed those hoping for a Cantina experience. This development also sparks conversations about Boston’s nightlife and the need for more options that cater to different schedules and preferences. As the Taco Bell settles into its new home, it remains to be seen how it will integrate into the fabric of Allston and whether it will become a staple late-night destination for locals and students alike.

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