Affton food truck plaza 9 Mile Garden will open Fourth of July weekend


The new 9 Mile Garden food truck plaza is under construction.

The long-awaited food truck garden in Affton, 9 Mile Garden, will open for Fourth of July weekend after being put on hold for the coronavirus pandemic.

The custom-built food truck plaza and entertainment district at 9375 Gravois Road, the corner of Gravois Road and Tobey Avenue, will open to the public Friday, July 3, developers announced Monday. It will be Missouri’s first food truck garden.

The grounds will be open to the public beginning at lunchtime July 3 and continuing for both lunch and dinner the entire holiday weekend.

During grand opening week and moving forward, the garden and its staff will follow health and safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and St. Louis County to provide a “socially distant event space,” garden owners said.

“We’re excited to open our doors and bring a new gathering place to St. Louis,” said 9 Mile Garden managing partner Brian Hardesty. “… It’s important to us that people know that all regulations and measures are being taken to protect their health.”

He promised “plenty” of sanitizing stations on site, tables situated more than 12 feet apart and said customers will be encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing.

The garden’s regular lineup of 30 local food trucks will rotate throughout the first week, serving “some of STL’s best and most loved dishes,” organizers said.

The opening weekend will kick off with live performances by musical acts The John Hughes Experience, Caroline Steinkamp and Tree One Four.

An outdoor movie will be shown Saturday night in honor of Independence Day.

Visitors can enjoy a number of activities and charitable events throughout the weekend.

The indoor bar The Canteen @ 9 Mile Garden will also open its doors and its open-air patio, serving a wide selection of draft beer from the best of local and national breweries alongside a rotating selection of draft wines and cocktails, plus cold brew coffee by Blueprint Coffee on tap.

The same health and safety guidelines will apply inside The Canteen as out, organizers said.

Construction continued during shutdown

Like everything else, the opening of 9 Mile Garden had to be put on hold in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. But construction continued.

Preparations are underway on the indoor and outdoor aspects of the future food and entertainment space.

In the past few weeks, everything has been coming together: Construction is finishing up on The Canteen, the two-story, dog-friendly, all-draft bar next to the plaza that will feature local beers. In the outside amphitheatre area, the tiered rock ledges that will be “picnic tiers” for people to sit and enjoy their food-truck finds are already in place.

Along with the food truck row, stacked shipping containers will create an outdoor movie screen. A small building will house accessible bathrooms.

“We’re getting all the finishing touches in place so that we’re ready to pour you a cold craft beer once it’s safe to open,” the garden posted on Facebook.

The manager behind the garden also posted: “We began this project a year ago, with the hopes of creating a gathering place where you can share memories with friends and family, get to know your neighbors better, and make new friends and relationships. Today, this vision feels more important than ever.”

To prepare for the opening, the project is hiring bartenders, adding food trucks to its 30-truck lineup and looking for live bands to feature in the lineup of its entertainment series.

See a gallery below of the food-truck plaza and The Canteen bar under construction, plus the renderings of what the finished product should look like: 

The following food trucks will rotate at 9 Mile Garden for the opening:

Fire and Ice Cream
Sedara Sweets
Guerrilla Street Food
Doggie Mac’s
Seoul Taco
Essentially Fries
Wok and Roll
The Saucy Iguana
Truckeria Del Valle
Burgers STL
Blues Fired Pizza
Spud Shack
The Crooked Boot
Red Dirt Revival
CJ’s Deli
Tastebudz Express
Heavy Smoke
Scoops & More
Smokin’ Loud BBQ
Slice of the Hill