Fast Food Chain Closes Indoor Dining at Oakland Locations, Cash No Longer Accepted Due to Out of Control Crime

In a troubling sign of the times, Taco Bell has shuttered the dining rooms at four out of five Oakland locations, pivoting to drive-thru only service. Cash is also no longer accepted at these restaurants. The drastic measures come in response to spiking crime rates that have made the city increasingly unsafe.

Signs reading “dining room closed” greeted would-be diners at the 35th Avenue and MacArthur Blvd Taco Bell on Monday, an all-too-common sight across much of the beleaguered city. A Taco Bell spokesperson confirmed the closures are part of efforts to protect customers and employees, stating: “Providing a safe environment for team members and customers is the priority at Taco Bell restaurants.”

The franchise owner is “consistently evaluating and working to ensure a safe environment by implementing procedures, such as closing dining rooms, and hiring security guards,” the spokesperson added. They are also “taking extra measures to meet with local law enforcement.”

But for many Oaklanders, these steps feel like too little, too late. The Taco Bell closures come on the heels of In-N-Out shuttering their location near the Oakland airport just weeks ago, also citing safety concerns. Residents are questioning how things got so bad and demanding accountability from city officials who have allowed crime to spiral out of control.

“It’s outrageous that you can’t even get a taco without fearing for your life in Oakland these days,” said lifelong resident Maria Gonzalez, 57. “I’ve watched this city decline for years, but I never thought it would get to the point where businesses are boarding up left and right because of rampant lawlessness.”

Others see the dining room closures as an indictment of failed liberal policies. “This is what happens when you defund the police and coddle criminals,” opined Oakland native Tom Johnson, 42. “Law-abiding citizens and businesses suffer while the bad guys run wild. It’s time for a change in leadership.”

As Oakland grapples with this latest symptom of urban decay, many are wondering how much worse things will get before city leaders finally take decisive action to restore law and order. In the meantime, Taco Bell patrons will have to settle for getting their Crunchwrap Supremes to-go.