Happy’s Taco Shop opens new food truck along M-75 in Boyne City

BOYNE CITY -- An idea born and considered last winter has come to fruition for one of the area's popular food trucks. Happy's Taco Shop recently opened its third location in Boyne City, adding to existing locations at The Back Lot in Petoskey and The Little Fleet in Traverse City. The third truck was created almost out of necessity, but was also a natural spot for the taco-slinging eatery, as the location also holds Happy's commercial kitchen.

"We had a great first weekend at the new location and everything is going well," said co-owner Drake Nagel. "We wanted this to be something we could open that's in our control and at our own place." Now, the team preps food for the trucks on M-75 between Boyne City and Boyne Falls. "We recently just purchased the building," said co-owner Drue Wright. "It was really the next logical step in expanding that didn't stretch us too thin."

The new location features its own food truck and newly built outdoor seating. Opening weekend spotlighted a few specials but the truck -- for now -- has the same menu as the other two locations for ease and consistency. However, both Nagel and Wright are excited to come up with rotating specials and try new things with this truck's menu.

"We are going to be doing some more specials, as it is right next to our prep kitchen," Nagel said. "That gives us a lot more freedom to try some fun things here and there." Nagel also hopes the new location will encourage more pop-up concepts, similar to the Chinese buffet the team offered in Petoskey a few years ago.  "We are just really excited about the possibility about what we are doing and can do here," he said. "There is going to be a lot of exciting stuff coming up."

The duo also gives thanks to smaller kitchens that helped get them started in northern Michigan. "It feels super nice that we can do all of this now, but it wasn't without the help of Beards Brewery, American Spoon Foods, The Little Fleet and all these other little places that helped us along the way," Nagel said. Happy's Taco Shop is currently open 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Sundays-Thursdays and 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays at The Back Lot in Petoskey and 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

Fridays-Saturdays at The Little Fleet in Traverse City.  The new location at 251 S. M-75 in Boyne City is currently open 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Fridays-Sundays. Learn more at happystacoshop.com. -- Contact reporter Sean Miller at [email protected].

Follow him on Twitter at @seanmillerpnr and Instagram at @sean_everest.