HARBOR SPRINGS, MI — Less than two weeks after a trial program for portable food vendors was approved, Harbor Springs has its first food truck applicant.

With the city council’s approval today, Monday, Etta’s Kitchen, a food truck and catering business co-owned by area residents Steve Erber and Fred Hackl, will operate next to the Harbor Springs farmers market on Wednesdays and Saturdays through the summer.

“Our desire is to use our menu to showcase the the ingredients offered by local producers at the market,” Hackl wrote in a letter of application to the city council. “We will display the menu and information on local producers on two video monitors and place local producers’ condiments on the shelf below the serving window for tasting.”

Erber and Hackl launched Etta’s Kitchen in February. They intend to build, operate and sell mobile food vendor franchises, but currently have just the one truck on area streets.

Etta’s Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner items from eggs, bacon and pancakes to a ribeye cheese steak sandwich, kabobs and even fish and spaghetti, depending on the day.

“Some items are started at the commissary and finished off ‘in the field,'” Erber said.

Starting this week, Erber, a woodworker, and Hackl, an architect, are also opening a traditional restaurant for breakfast and lunch service in Harbor Springs at 1053 West Conway Rd.

If approved by the council, Etta’s Kitchen will be the first food truck permitted to operate in Harbor Springs under newly established guidelines for such mobile food vendors. In a 4-1 vote at their June 2 meeting, city council members initiated a six-month pilot program for food trucks and other portable food servers.

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