Galaxy Drive In to reopen mid-April after five years of closure

Owner, new team work to bring restaurant back to community

The+Galaxy+Drive+In+lights+illuminated+at+night.+The+last+time+the+restaurant+was+open+was+2015.+

Noah Orloff

The Galaxy Drive In lights illuminated at night. The last time the restaurant was open was 2015.

Sofia Seewald

Looking back at her memories of the Galaxy Drive In, senior Lauren Schmelzer said she is thrilled to hear the restaurant in St. Louis Park is opening once again.

“I remember I used to go to Galaxy (Drive In) with my family,” Schmelzer said. “We would always sit outside and play with all the games, and so I’m really excited it’s reopening because it was always a good community hangout spot.”

Owner of Galaxy Drive In Steven Schussler said the restaurant closed because it was not meeting the expectations he strived for. Schussler said they painted, kept up with landscaping and left the lights on for safety at night during the closure.

“You know people come for the wow factor, but I didn’t believe that our service was up to par,” Schussler said. “It took too long to get food and I don’t believe that we had necessarily a quality product.”

Freshman Amelia Mcgregor said the reopening is a chance for a fresh start within the community. 

“It’s going to be really popular to some of the younger kids, and I’m really glad it’s reopening because I feel like it didn’t get the recognition it deserved when it was open,” Mcgregor said.

Schussler said Mark Saliterman, chairman of VisionBank in St. Louis Park and owner of Clays restaurant in Rockford, will be operating and opening the drive-in by mid-April. Saliterman will also be joined by a new team of employees, along with new head chef James Awe. 

“I did not want to open until I found that group of people that I could trust. Mark Saliterman believes in Galaxy Drive In and he believes in St. Louis Park,” Schussler said.

Schmelzer said she hopes the restaurant improves its service and food options. 

“I think improving the speed of service would be good. We usually had to wait a while for our food, and making (the) menu more diverse because people like to have options,” Schmelzer said.

According to Schussler, Galaxy Drive In will also be offering free vanilla ice cream cones to pets. 

“We take care of every dog that comes with its owner. Our four-legged friends are an important part of Galaxy Drive In. The place was made for animals to come in,” Schussler said.

It’s going to be really popular to some of the younger kids, and I’m really glad it’s reopening because I feel like it didn’t get the recognition it deserved when it was open.”

— Freshman Amelia Mcgregor

With its reopening, the Galaxy Drive In will still include the items that give it its ambiance, according to Schussler. 

“Our chess set and our checkers set, the whimsical bronze statues of children frolicking and our s’mores pits are really important to the brand that we built,” Schussler said.

According to Schussler, there is still work to be done before the drive-in opens. 

“They don’t have a date yet and they’re working on the menu. They’re working on items that could be gluten-free (and) vegetarian,” Schussler said. “They are truly committed to making Galaxy Drive In a St. Louis Park attraction. It’s been there 69 years and we wanted to keep with the tradition.”

Mcgregor said she believes the target market for the Galaxy Drive In may be high schoolers.

“It is pretty close to the high school, so I feel like it’d be good for business since there are teenagers that’ll want to go,” Mcgregor said.

Schussler said he hopes the Galaxy Drive In becomes an integral part of the St. Louis Park community once again. 

“I’m most excited I found (a team) that is as passionate as I am in making the residents and the families of St. Louis Park happy with the product we bring before them, and to see the investment that I’ve put forward in St. Louis Park reap the rewards of having people there,” Schussler said.