Vote results in Taco Bell near WKU campus

Aaron Frasier

Students can expect a Taco Bell within walking distance to be opened near WKU’s campus this fall.

Fugate Enterprises, a company based out of Wichita, Kan., plans to start construction on a Taco Bell in April at 1802 Russellville Road, near where Burger King recently closed. The company owns numerous Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Sonic restaurants, and was responsible for conducting the survey.

From April 1-17, 2010, WKU students had the opportunity to vote between Taco Bell and Pizza Hut to be built near campus. Taco Bell won and, after a delay, Fugate Enterprises hopes to open the restaurant in October.

“There was a Taco Bell license in town that had the territory tied up, so we haven’t been able to start,” said Geoff Graves, senior director of operations for Fugate Enterprises.

Graves said Fugate “will try to connect” the new restaurant to WKU’s campus and students.

Graves said many of Fugate’s Pizza Huts have things in them that relate to the school, adding that the corporation does have standards to what they can and can’t do.

“We won’t know a lot of the design until construction starts,” he said.

There are already three Taco Bell locations in Bowling Green, with the closest to campus right now at 1166 31-W Bypass.

Cincinnati freshman Laura Fugate said she thinks Taco Bell’s hours are the restaurant’s biggest positive.

“It’s a good thing, and I think we should have it because campus restaurants aren’t always open,” Fugate said. “It’s close to campus and convenient.”

Fugate said she will go to the Taco Bell probably every other week, late at night with friends, just as many students do with GADS and Waffle House.

Owensboro freshman Holley Humphrey said she wishes something other than a fast food restaurant would be built close to campus.

“I like their soft drinks, though, so I would go for that,” Humphrey said.

Humphrey said when Burger King was on Russellville Road, she would stop and get something to drink before going home, so she would do that at Taco Bell also.

Fugate doesn’t think other restaurants will be affected by the Taco Bell being built.

“On-campus restaurants are even more convenient than the Taco Bell,” she said.

Humphrey also doesn’t think that off-campus restaurants would be affected by the Taco Bell.