After a year of delays, Taco Habitat LLC seemed to pop up overnight in the Glenstone Marketplace.
But that’s the nature of a building constructed with recycled shipping containers.
Entrepreneur Michael Felts said the 3325 S. Glenstone Ave. Mexican eatery, which has been in the works for several years, is expected to open within 30 to 45 days.
Boxman Studios, a North Carolina-based company that constructed and designed the taco shop, delivered the container pieces on Thursday, Felts said. Transportation alone for the 11 containers cost around $100,000.
Felts also is planning a Taco Habitat in Branson, where an opening date has not yet been set. He said he recently received site work bids, and he plans to begin excavation next week.
Thirty to 40 employees are planned at each eatery, where the menu will include tacos, burritos, salads and burrito bowls, he said.
“As much as possible will be free-range, humane, locally sourced, fresh-made food,” Felts said. “You’ll be able to watch the chips and salsa and tortillas being made fresh, too.”
One of Felts’ delays involved the government shutdown late last year and early this year, which slowed down his application for a U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loan. He initially applied for it in August 2018, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
Felts said he received the loan in July but declined to disclose financial terms. He initially applied for a $1.3 million loan, according to past SBJ reporting.
Felts also is planning to open his Beale and Bourbon restaurant concept by year’s end. The Memphis and New Orleans-style restaurant is planned at 2639 S. Glenstone Ave. in the old Newk’s Eatery building near the Battlefield Mall.
Additionally, Felts is behind the Nashville-style fried chicken and catfish restaurant Hot Cluckers that opened last year at 1450 E. Sunshine St. Felts said he’s not sure if he’ll bring the chicken concept to Branson, where he owns two plats at the Taco Habitat site.
“We’re debating on what we’re going to do,” he said. “Some national chains that have come along really want the site, so we’ll see.”
As for anything else up his sleeve, Felts would only say he’s working on a brewery concept.
SBJ compiles news on the respiratory virus outbreak.
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