An iconic shuttered restaurant with ties to the space shuttle program -- is opening its doors again in Brevard County.

Shuttles, which was shut down in the months the orbiters stopped blasting off from the Space Coast in 2011, is expected to reopen in the coming weeks.

"I drank my first legal beer at the end of the bar here," said Darron Dobson, the restaurant's new owner.

Dobson, a lifelong Merritt Island resident, has a history with the restaurant.

He fell in love with Shuttles in his late teens, and he said he always wanted to own it.

The landmark restaurant, located just south of the Kennedy Space Center on State Road 3, was a go-to spot for shuttle program workers who were looking for a meal or a post-work beverage for about 30 years.

Even astronauts ate there -- many times right after landing from a lengthy space mission.

Space-related memorabilia donned the walls as the legend grew.

"The workers out here at the (Kennedy) Space Center -- that's what makes this area go," Dobson said.

But, once the shuttle program went, so did those workers. Thousands of layoffs took place, and the previous owner lost 70 percent of his business. And so, Shuttles was put up for sale.

It sat empty for almost two years, which made it more run down each day. That's when Dobson swooped in and bought the place he had wanted to own for most of his life.

After months of renovations, Shuttles is now flying again and almost open for business. The walls have some pictures of astronauts, and space shuttle items are back on display.

But Dobson hopes for more. He wants to fill his walls with memorabilia once again with memories of the shuttle program as it rockets to the future.

Dobson said he hopes to open the restaurant by May 1.