Maplewood neighbors meet Taco Bell reps: discuss noise, lights

About 15 Hazel Avenue residents met Thursday with Taco Bell representatives in the building that Tim Hortons built a couple years ago and vacated at the end of 2017. Taco Bell has plans to move into the building, and the neighbors are concerned about customer noise and bright outdoor lights — it’s planned to be open until past midnight.

Maplewood Mayor Barry Greenberg asked if is a problem, such as a customer in the drive-thru playing loud music, how will it be handled? Taco Bell reps answered that when the driver gets to the speaker box or the window they can ask the customer to turn it down, and people will get the hint, “hopefully,” one said. “Unfortunately you can’t control every situation.” They also said that managers can be called anytime a Taco Bell is open, including until 3 a.m.

Council member Jenny Schmidt asked how many cars might go through the in the late hours. Taco Bell St. Louis area district manager, Earl Jacobson, said that 170 cars can be expected at the drive-thru after 10 p.m.

“We’re going to have lights and cars and music on until 3 o’clock in the morning on weeknights…? The city can’t do anything about cutting back the hours?” a neighbor said. Greenberg said the store would be open until 2 a.m. on weeknights and 3 a.m. on the weekend.

Director of real estate for Taco Bell (Bell American Group LLC), Bob Lach said the store has to have the late hours to compensate for times when it’s not as busy, to be profitable.

A neighbor said he thinks the lights are more of a nuisance than the sound. Greenberg said there are city ordinances to control that, and the volume of light coming from the fixtures can be controlled.

He also said if there is a pattern of nuisance calls to the police an officer can be assigned to the area. He said the way the nuisance ordinance works, an officer has to observe it.

Taco Bell brought cookies and chips for the neighbors to enjoy after the meeting.

12 thoughts on “Maplewood neighbors meet Taco Bell reps: discuss noise, lights

  1. For anyone complaining about the noise from Taco Bell: how about those motorcycles at Schlafly last night, huh?

    • Seriously, I find it funny as hell that people are going to complain about noise from a tacobell when a white castle, jack in the box and quiktrip are right next to it.

  2. How annoying does anyone think the old 24 hour Quick Trip was to the surrounding neighbors? I used to live across Hanley Road from the U-Gas station and that was plenty disruptive in the middle of the night. As long as Maplewood remains determined to sacrifice neighborhoods for commerce it doesn’t matter if it’s greasy fast food or a 24 hour drive thru Chinese laundry, homeowners are going to be forced to take it up the jumper. Sorry, seems we frankly don’t have a choice, even if we think we really do.

  3. They say they need to stay open till 3 to make the business viable. How much more money they going to lose if they stay open only to midnight? “Only 170 cars from 10 to 3” the rep from Taco Bell says, means about 34 cars per hour. That is one every 2 minutes. That seems like a lot of traffic to me. If the average expense of those 34 cars per hour was $10 per car that is $340 per hour or in the 5 hours of operation or $1700. How much does it cost to keep that building staffed, lit up, all the things working etc. I am sure they are making money or else they would not be doing it.

    But why not say you close at midnight and you lose $680 per evening.

    Or maybe we don’t want you here after all. Has anyone else asked to look at that space for something to use it for? Do we have to take the first offer that comes our way? Do we have a say in that?

  4. This spot is not just any old fast food spot. It is literally a few feet away from someone’s house. You can’t really say the same thing about White Castle, car dealerships, QT, etc. Tim’s could have been a perfectly viable operation, and it would have been nice to have another breakfast-type spot go in that space. TB is going to be a nuisance for those neighbors. I know I wouldn’t want a drive-thru open till 3 am next to my house. But hey, enjoy those dog food tacos if you like eating that stuff. It’s your gastrointestinal system.

  5. JITB, Steak & Shake, Whitey’s and two chicken shacks all located at this intersection. The Taco Bell will make it the Mecca for fast food junkies and late night drunks… Yuk!

    • Hey Jedd –
      I respectfully suggest you drink a few cervezas, eat a couple cheesy gordita crunches and join the party! Seeya at 2am!
      -Your mucho happy neighbor

  6. Glad to see progress here. It’s funny how people complain about businesses at that intersection, as if the car dealerships, run down or downright vacant buildings there previously were really driving up real estate values. Taco Bell isn’t a Tim Hortons, but that’s not coming back. So bring on the fast-food-texmex.

    • amen. people need to realize that a boutique store open from 10am-6pm is not going to be able to afford rent at one of the busiest intersections in the area.

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