9 Mile Garden temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19


Photo by 9 Mile Garden

9 Mile Garden on its opening day July 3.

Beginning Friday, Affton’s new food truck plaza 9 Mile Garden will temporarily close as a preventative measure amid new health and safety regulations established Monday by St. Louis County to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

The temporary closure will begin Friday, July 31 with the last day of operation set for Thursday, July 30.

The first food truck garden in the state, 9 Mile Garden officially opened its doors just a few weeks ago on July 3, the same day the county instituted a mask mandate. 

Although 9 Mile Garden did not estimate how long it would be closed, County Executive Sam Page said Monday he expects the restrictions to remain in place for the next four weeks to try to bring down the spike in cases over the last few weeks. New restrictions mandate that late-night bars, such as The Canteen, close at 10 p.m. and restaurants and bars must operate at 25-percent capacity, down from the 50 percent allowed as of June 29.

Wearing a mask, Page attended 9 Mile Garden’s ribbon-cutting ceremony July 9, after it opened July 3. Over the weekend, the Affton School District said it will start this school year with 100-percent virtual learning.

“Our first and foremost concern is for the health and safety of our staff and patrons, as well as our vendors and the community we serve,” said managing partner Brian Hardesty in the announcement. “We are grateful for the support from Affton. … While it is sad to close, we look forward to reopening soon and providing a safe place where people can gather, eat, drink and enjoy themselves and their neighbors.” 

According to the news release, all scheduled events in August have been canceled, including Live Music Fridays and Outdoor Movies Saturdays, as well as screenings of Cardinals and Blues games. 

The staff plans to use the space while regular operations are on hold to collect donated foods for local charities and organizations, providing select drive-up food events and more. These events are still being planned. 

“We are focused on providing a safe and socially responsible gathering place for St. Louisans, and in order to uphold that level of responsibility to our community, we’ve decided to be proactive and cease operations until that can be done,” said Hardesty.