Missouri’s first food truck garden opens in Affton


AFFTON, Mo. – 9 Mile Garden is an outdoor entertainment venue with spaces for food trucks, a stage and an outdoor movie screen. The Canteen at 9 Mile Garden, an indoor facility that serves drinks, is also open on the property.

Masks are required to enter The Canteen, but are not required outside as long as customers can remain 6 feet apart.

“If it gets so busy that we can’t be socially distant, then we’ll enforce masks,” said Brian Hardesty, 9 Mile Garden’s managing partner.

There’s a lineup of 30 food trucks that will rotate at 9 Mile Garden. A line up will be announced each day on 9 Mile Garden’s social media pages.

Affton residents said the grand opening of 9 Mile Garden has been long anticipated.

“We have been checking off the days off the calendar for when this place opened, there’s been such a buzz around the neighborhood,” said Affton resident Tim Venverloh.

“I think it’ll bring the community together and just give people a common area to go to that is family friendly, kid friendly and dog friendly,” Joanne Zamudio, Affton resident, said.

There are several precautions in place, according to Hardesty, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We definitely are doing our part to remain socially distant, we’re providing hand sanitizing stations, all the tables are extremely far a part, there’s no danger there, we’re reminding people to remain 6 feet a part, to wash their hands,” he said.

Hardesty said this project has been 6 years in the making and although its opening during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said it’s a great venue to be able to practice social distancing.

“It’s a place where they can get out of their houses during COVID and still remain safe, we’ve got lots of social distancing measures set up,” Hardesty said.

Opening night consisted of food trucks, live music from The John Hughes Experience, Pickleball, balloon making, a pet friendly environment and arm painting, instead of face painting.

Laura Coppinger said she had to adjust due to COVID-19 as well, instead of painting kids’ faces, she is now bringing her creativity to people’s arms.

She said she has also added extra cleaning practices.

“I’ve added alcohol to all of my products, usually I would just wash everything at the end of the day and just have a rinse bucket, but instead I’ve done a mixture of alcohol and water to do that extra disinfectant,” Coppinger said.

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