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KFC/Taco Bell to return
Smithville soon to be finger lickin' good
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Smithvillians will soon be able to get a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken without leaving town.Yum! Brands, a spin-off company of PepsiCo, and the parent company of KFC and Taco Bell, is looking to build a KFC/Taco Bell combo on the corner of West Broad and Oak Streets, between the old Estes Furniture building and the car wash.KFC was founded as Kentucky Fried Chicken by Colonel Harland Sanders in Corbin, Kentucky, in 1952.Born and raised in Henryville, Indiana, Sanders first served his fried chicken in 1930 in the midst of the Great Depression at a gas station and diner in Corbin.The dining area was named Sanders Court & Café, and was so successful that Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon granted Sanders the title of honorary Kentucky Colonel in recognition of his contribution to the state's cuisine in 1935.By the following year Sanders had expanded his restaurant to 142 seats.When Sanders prepared his chicken in his original restaurant in North Corbin, he cooked it in an iron skillet, which took about 30 minutes, far too long for a serious restaurant operation.In 1939, Sanders altered the cooking process for his fried chicken to use a pressure fryer, resulting in a greatly reduced cooking time comparable to that of deep frying.In 1940, Sanders devised what came to be known as his Original Recipe.The Sanders Court & Café generally served travelers, often headed to Florida, so when the route planned for what would become Interstate 75 bypassed Corbin in the 1950’s, he sold his properties and traveled the U.S. to sell his chicken to restaurant owners.The first to take him up on the offer was Pete Harman in South Salt Lake, Utah; together, they opened the first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in 1952.By the early 1960s, Kentucky Fried Chicken was sold in over 600 franchised outlets in both the United States and Canada.Sanders sold the entire KFC franchising operation in 1964 for $2 million.Since that time, the chain has been sold three more times: to Heublein in 1971, to R.J. Reynolds in 1982 and most recently to PepsiCo in 1986, which made it part of its Tricon Global Restaurants division, which in turn was spun off in 1997, and has now been renamed Yum! Brands.Taco Bell was founded by Glen Bell, who first opened a hot dog stand called Bell’s Drive-In in San Bernardino, California in 1946 at the age of 23.He sold the stand in 1952, opening a new one two years later, this time selling tacos under the name of Taco-Tia.Over the next few years Bell owned and operated a number of restaurants in southern California, including four called El Taco.Bell sold the El Tacos to his partner and built the first Taco Bell in Downey in 1962.He sold Taco-Tia that same year.Kermit Becky, a former Los Angeles police officer, bought the first Taco Bell franchise from Glen Bell in 1964, and located it in Torrance.The company grew rapidly, and by 1967, the restaurant number 100 was opened in Anaheim.Taco Bell went public in 1970 with 325 restaurants.