The Wapakoneta community is anticipating some happy days in the future, in the form of breaded chicken, milkshakes and affordable dining.
Construction on the Happy Daz restaurant is to be completed in early 2014, says project superintendent Aaron Sarka, who works with Miller Contracting Group Inc.
Sarka said they have been building up the site for a week and began digging footers on Monday afternoon.
“There really wasn’t any ground breaking ceremony,” Sarka said, “but if there was, today would be it.”
Happy Daz owner John Heaphy said members of the community have been asking for a Happy Daz restaurant in the community for years and he is planning on the store being open in the spring — shooting for early March.
Heaphy said he is excited about the location of the future Happy Daz, which is on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Defiance Street.
“I’m very excited to be coming to Wapakoneta,” Heaphy said, “and I’m looking forward to being a good neighbor.
“We like being close to a lot of the community venues,” he said.
Being located near the Wapakoneta WaterPark, Wapakoneta High School including Harmon Field and the baseball and softball diamonds, the soccer field and the basketball court and the residential and retail locations in the area should be a benefit to Happy Daz, Heaphy said.
Since the restaurant does not have a “big chain” brand name, Heaphy said he does not build off the interstate.
He said the restaurant profits more inside of a region which recognizes the name and he realizes there are many Happy Daz loyalty club members residing in Auglaize County.
Happy Daz is known for its ‘50s style diner atmosphere. However, Happy Daz became a part of the community 25 years ago.
“We have a lot of memorabilia and antiques from the 1950s and 1960s,” Heaphy said. “It’s a great place for people to congregate and have good food.”
The original Happy Daz was built in 1985 on West North Street in Lima. The Wapakoneta branch, which will accommodate up to 110 guests, will be the fifth Happy Daz owned by Good Food Hospitality Management.
Heaphy said they are planning to hire between 30 to 40 employees.
Happy Daz serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant has kids meals available and is geared toward a family atmosphere.
The menu consists of a variety of diner food, including burgers, chicken, fries, ice cream and also a “fresh, light & healthy” option on the menu.
“We specialize in our breaded tenderloin pork sandwich,” Heaphy said. “We’re pretty well-known for our milk shakes.”
Heaphy said the restaurant’s price range is around $4-6 per combo meal and is budget-friendly for families.
Heaphy is the owner of multiple restaurants in the area, including Beer Barrel Pizza & Grill, Q Smokin’ BBQ and Fixin’s, and the future Old City Prime Steakhouse. He has locations in St. Marys, Lima and Findlay.