St. Louis' first food truck garden is hitting the brakes.
9 Mile Garden, located in Affton, Missouri, is closing down for the time being to an effort to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. This comes after County Executive Sam Page announced renewed regulations for limiting large gatherings to 50 or fewer people, which will begin July 31.
Bars and restaurants must reduce capacity to 25 percent.
"We do our best to make responsible decisions for the community," says managing partner Brian Hardesty. "We realize that we are a gathering place, so if the county feels like it's inappropriate to have gatherings over 50 people – and we're built to do much, much more than that – then the decision becomes very simple. We don't want to be looked at as unsafe, and if that means having to close down and remain closed until it's safe to operate, then that's what we're gonna do."
The county's guidelines are currently set to last for four weeks, which is how long Hardesty hopes 9 Mile Garden will remain closed. However, the team will consider their options for reopening depending on whether or not COVID-19 cases continue to rise in St. Louis.
"We're just doing our part, we're doing what we think is responsible," he says.
The venue's scheduled events for the month of August have been cancelled, including plans for live music on Friday nights and movie showings on Saturday nights. While 9 Mile Garden will remain closed, Hardesty says the space may be uses for drive-thru events and fundraisers. Follow 9 Mile Garden on social media to look for updates on these events.
The Canteen at 9 Mile Garden, the food truck garden's bar, will also remain closed along with the park.
9 Mile Garden, 9375 Gravois Road, Affton Plaza, Affton, Missouri, 9milegarden.com