Dk's drive in.jpg

GALION — The new owners of DK’s Drive In have a message for the community: The eatery you’ve come to know and love isn’t going anywhere.

Everett and Amanda Harris purchased DK’s this month and plan to reopen it to the public on Feb. 28. The couple also owns Caleb’s Brookside Dari, which they purchased at the beginning of last spring.

The Harrises say there will be a few new menu items at DK’s, but it will largely remain the same. 

“People love DK’s. They love Caleb's. They love them for what they were,” Amanda said. “We're trying to keep them as original as possible and also add some spice.”

Amanda and Everett Harris

Amanda and Everett Harris are the owners of Caleb's Brookside Dari and DK's Drive In in Galion.

Amanda is a real estate agent with a background in restaurant management. Everett is a licensed welder and an excellent cook. The Mansfield couple had always wanted to open a restaurant, so when Caleb’s went up for sale last year, they gave it a shot. 

Amanda began her career managing corporate restaurants in the area, then worked in restaurant finance after earning her accounting degree. She eventually ended up back in management, but left and became a realtor due to the physical demands of the job.  

The Harrises say they hope their latest venture will provide more quality employment in the area. With the addition of DK’s, their staff will grow from 12 to 40 employees.

“We built this amazing team who we care very, very much about (at Caleb’s),” Amanda said.

Both restaurants offer a starting salary of $8 an hour for tipped employees -- more than $3 over the state minimum. Employees can also earn bonuses based on attendance and sales.

Local News. Locally Powered.

Our goal is to help make the community a better place to live and work, and to do that through reliable, independent, local journalism that focuses on solutions. Help us tell the whole story of our region by becoming a member today.

All employees are required to work two weekends a month so that everyone on the team can have two weekends off each month. 

Caleb's has also held fundraisers for customers and employees impacted by loss or illness.

“We want to change our employees' lives. Restaurant work has a really bad rap right now and we want to do things that change that," Amanda said. “A lot of them are teenagers and the ones that are adults, they're struggling. We want to help them want to help them get a better footing in life.”

Manager Peggy Rush said those strategies are paying off -- all of Caleb's employees came back this year, which is unusual for seasonal establishments. 

The Harrises will also make an effort to give back to the community through both establishments.

Like Caleb's, DK's will donate part of the proceeds from its "pup cups" to the local humane society. It will also offer a 10 percent discount to families whose child is wearing a local sports jersey.

"Even if they were to come in and they're in practice warmups, we give them and their families a 10 percent discount for coming in after a game and to thank them for participating in sports, because we think they're important for kids to learn structure and discipline," Amanda explained.

DK's will also continue the recycling program onsite established by the previous owner, which benefits the local schools.

DK’s will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the time being, with hours extended until 9 p.m. later in the spring.

Support Our Journalism

Our reporting empowers people to individually and collectively achieve progress in our region. Help make free, local, independent journalism sustainable by becoming a Source Member.

Staff reporter focused on education and features. Clear Fork alumna. Always looking for a chance to practice my Spanish. You can reach me at katie@richlandsource.com