The new owners of the iconic Galaxy Drive In plan to turn the St. Louis Park landmark into Wells Roadside, a dog-friendly burger joint also serving ice cream, beer and wine.

David Benowitz and Luke Derheim of Craft & Crew Hospitality — who bought the drive-in on Monday for $939,000 from Rainforest Cafe creator Steve Schussler — will model their new concept after Gott's Roadside in California. They hope to open the restaurant in the spring and will feature a four-season pergola.

"This is taking the charm of what's been in the neighborhood for 60 years as an iconic spot and giving it a facelift and adding high-quality food, beverages like wine and beer to start and making it year-round," Derheim said.

Wells Roadside will be the seventh area restaurant Craft & Crew operates, although it's the first quick-service format. Ordering will be via a kiosk or QR codes. "It's a very different model than the full-service restaurants we currently operate," Benowitz said.

The duo's other restaurants include the Block in St. Louis Park, Stanley's Northeast Bar Room in Minneapolis and Pub 819 in Hopkins. Like the other sites, Wells Roadside will welcome dogs. The new owners hope neighbors will walk over with their pets, as they find occurs at the other neighborhood restaurants.

The restaurant is named after Derheim's son, Wells, and Gott's Roadside, where the two owners have dined for years.

Gott's Roadside was founded by brothers Joel and Duncan Gott in St. Helena in 1999 and "recognized as a James Beard America's Classic," and now has eight northern California locations, according to the restaurant's website.

"They're going to knock it out of the park," Schussler said of Benowitz and Derheim.

Schussler and Famous Dave's founder Dave Anderson decided the drive-in space was too small to be the first location for their planned pizza franchise, which Schussler said is still in the works. He does not know yet when and where it will launch.

Galaxy Drive In became a pet project for Schussler, who's best known for creating large-scale restaurant concepts that other operators then run nationwide. Schussler acquired the property for $100,000 in April 2009, according to Hennepin County property records. He has invested $1.3 million in upgrades.

Galaxy, once known as Wagner's, had a series of operators before shutting down in 2015 for five years. In June 2020, the drive-in re-opened as Clays Galaxy Drive In but closed in October 2021 amid staffing issues, he said.

Benowitz and Derheim had been in talks with Schussler for years, but the timing hadn't been right for them until now.

"Honestly, I think he's a marketing genius," Benowitz said. "We've already taken into high consideration the ideas he's given us."