Hungry Orchard Mesa residents no longer need to make a run for the border. Grand Junction can now begin to think outside the bun with the Grand Opening of this new restaurant.

The Taco Bell on Orchard Mesa officially opened today, Wednesday, August 31, 2022. The sign isn't even up yet, but people are already flocking to this new food option.

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The Grand Opening of This Grand Junction Restaurant Is Here

Look at the front of the new Taco Bell just off of Highway 50 and Linden Avenue in Grand Junction, and you'll see the big "Grand Opening" banner. You'll also see crews hard at work putting up the main signage off the highway.

Orchard Mesa Taco Bell Sign
Waylon Jordan
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Have you ever known a restaurant, or any other business for that matter, to open for business before the sign is up or the parking lot is finished? Then again, maybe nobody cares. Everyone in the world knew a Taco Bell was coming.

One Challenge

Right here, right now, you can enter the Orchard Mesa Taco Bell's parking lot from Highway 50 or off of Linden Avenue.

When exiting, if you exit via Linden Avenue, you notice there is a brand-spankin' new "One Way" street sign greeting you in the middle of Highway 50. The medium has been permanently "coned" off with bright yellow markers (or whatever they're called). You'll have to make a right-hand turn, heading east on Highway 50.

Taco Bell One Way
Waylon Jordan / Canva
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Southwest Corner of Linden Avenue and Highway 50 in Grand Junction, Colorado

Clear back in January 2022 a City of Grand Junction Land Development Application Pending sign went up on the south side of Highway 50 in Grand Junction. The number on the sign was 2021-821.

I've lived in Orchard Mesa since 1983, and for that entire time, this lot was a giant, usually empty field. Being nosey, I had to look into it.

Grand Junction's official webpage, www.gjcity.gov, reported a number of things coming to the area. First, Project Number PR-2021-169, Tracys Village Subdivision.

Second, Plan Number SPN-2021-741, read "Taco Bell restaurant with a drive-thru window on proposed Lot 5, Block 3, Tracys Village Subdivision."

Grand Junction Colorado SW Corner of Highway 50 and Linden Ave Applications
gjcity.org
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Orchard Mesa Moves Into the Big Time

As a forty-year resident of Orchard Mesa, things certainly have changed. Many of us moved to the south side of Grand Junction because it was perceived as the "quiet side of town."

So, how many major chain restaurants now call Orchard Mesa home? Let's break it down store by store:

  • Dominos Pizza (directly north of the new Taco Bell)
  • Subway
  • Dairy Queen (right next door to the east to the new Taco Bell)
  • Burger King
  • and now... Taco Bell.

This list doesn't even include some of the lesser-known franchises. When it comes to your fine dining choices, you have several options in a relatively small area. For the sake of being weird, I thought it would be fun to do a poor man's survey and calculate the distance between these restaurants.

Grand Junction distance Dominos Pizza to Burger King
Google Maps
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With Dominos representing the westernmost restaurant, and Burger King as the easternmost, you'll find Dominos, Taco Bell, Subway, Dairy Queen, and Burger King all within a distance of 4,938.27 feet. Check it out. Some of the biggest names in fast food, all in less than one mile.

While not a Taco Bell aficionado, I'm excited to see this restaurant open. The new auto parts store just a few hundred feet east of the new Taco Bell looks as though it's almost ready to open. I'm curious to think about what's next. It's progress. Given what we've been through the last two and a half years, it's awesome to see things moving forward.

Classic Grand Junction Race Cars and Their Drivers

Here's a handful of Robert Grant photos featuring Grand Junction area race cars and their drivers.

Classic Western Colorado Photos Found in a Box - Animals

Here's a short gallery featuring Robert Grant photos of Western Colorado animals. Photos were taken between the late 1940s and the late 1970s.

KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Downtown Grand Junction Businesses of Yesterday

If you stop and think about it, several of the business pictured above are still up and running. Most of these photos were taken in the 1950s. Almost 70 years later, many are still going strong. Sure, some have moved to new locations, but others, Quincy's for example, are right where they've always been.

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