Rockwell Beer Garden to open in Francis Park this summer


ST. LOUIS – A new beer garden will open this summer in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood.

Rockwell Beer Co. located on South Vandeventer Avenue in The Grove opened in 2018 and now they are putting a satellite location in Francis Park. It’s the first-of-its-kind in a contemporary setting. 

Co-owner Chris Hulse told St. Louis Magazine that The Rockwell Beer Garden plans to be “family-centric.”

The open-air beer garden will definitely be open from April to September and co-owner James Sanders told St. Louis Magazine, “with directional heaters, we think we can extend that from March to maybe as late as December.”

The drink menu will consist of Rockwell beer, guest beers, a draft cocktail, wine, cold brew coffee, two alcoholic frozen drinks, two non-alcoholic frozen drinks, and fountain drinks. The facility will serve food and beer to those 21 and over. 

“Yeah, it was as big a development as there is so far this year,” said George Mahe, dining editor at St. Louis Magazine. “The Rockwell Brewing Company has secured the rights to put a beer garden in Francis Park, which is the first time it’s ever been done in a St. Louis city park, which is just unbelievable.” 

“Part of a good quality of life is good coffee in the morning and beer at night,” Hulse told St. Louis Magazine.

The beer garden will be located near the tennis courts located inside the 60-acre park. The main building, central to the open-air seating is a stone building from the 1920s that once served as a coffee shop and, until recently, a storage unit for rakes and mowers. The architectural firm JEMA designed Rockwell’s flagship location is renovating the beer garden building.

“So, the owners had this idea, and they knew the city wanted to do something in Francis Park,” Mahe said. “They said we got this great idea; they approached the aldermen and neighborhood associations. Everybody was in full agreement that this is going to be a really cool thing, so they proceeded, and this is the first time it’s ever been done.” 

Some of the nearby tennis courts are also slated to be converted to pickle ball courts. 

“The city knows them, knows they’re good operators and so, I think, there was a trust factor that might not have happened with other people,” Mahe said. “Their Rockwell Beer Company down on Vandeventer, they took a kind of dilapidated situation there and really made a showcase out of it. So, there’s a lot of trust in these guys knowing what they could do with the space.” 

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