Happy's Fish House a new seafood offering in Tyler

Published on Monday, 31 March 2014 00:10 - Written by CASEY MURPHY cmurphy@tylerpaper.com

After opening for dinner for about a week, Happy’s Fish House will start offering lunch on April 7.

Tyler’s newest seafood restaurant opened its doors on Monday, offering dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

“Business has been great,” Rodney Duncan, trainer for the restaurant, said on Wednesday. “Everybody just loves the food.”

The menu consists of high-quality seafood that can be ordered a variety of ways, such as fried, steamed or grilled, Scott Nordon has said. It includes shrimp, oysters, catfish, clams and poboy sandwiches.

Happy’s was opened by Andy Gugar, who owns Mercado’s and Posados restaurants. Gugar, of Tyler, opened Mercado’s in 1986, and soon added a Posados. The brand has since expanded to 16 locations in East Texas, Dallas/Fort Worth, Louisiana and Austin.

“We feel we have the Mexican market sewn up and are fishing with a little different bait on this one, no pun intended,” Nordon, Posados chief operating officer, said earlier when discussing the plans for Happy’s.

The name Happy’s came from Gugar’s grandfather, whose nickname was Happy, he said.

Nordon said they chose to open Happy’s on Fifth Street, near Posados, because it is a great trade area, with continuous traffic and nearby hospitals. The building formerly housed Tuscani Italian Res­taurant and Joe’s Italian Grill.

Nordon has said there could be a second Tyler location for Happy’s if the seafood restaurant does well, as well as land outside of Tyler for a possible third restaurant.

Duncan said Happy’s has about 45 employees but is looking to hire 20 to 30 more people for the lunch business.