9 mile garden managing partner and guerrilla street food co-owner brian hardesty photo courtesy of 9 mile garden

9 Mile Garden food truck garden will open in Affton

Restaurateur Brian Hardesty of Guerrilla Street Food has partnered with Seneca Commercial Real Estate on a new food truck concept. 9 Mile Garden, billed as the first “food truck garden” in the state, is slated to open next spring at 9375 Gravois Road in Affton.

Hardesty said he’s had the idea for the concept for a while. It occurred to him after he noticed most food truck-specific events he participated in didn’t have anything for customers to do other than eat.

To remedy that, Hardesty said 9 Mile will feature amenities like movies and sporting events shown on an outdoor big screen, live music, community events, games and more, in addition to covered areas for food trucks to sell their wares.

The garden will be located in the center of Affton Plaza, a retail center owned and operated by Seneca.

“It will be completely family friendly,” Hardesty said, adding that there are approximately 500 nearby parking spaces available. “We also hope to feature it as a destination for weddings, parties and corporate events.”

a rendering of the future 9 mile garden space // courtesy of 9 mile garden

9 Mile will be open six days a week and feature lunch and dinner service. Hardesty said food trucks will pay a membership fee to be part of the garden, and they will be rotated into the schedule. To provide plenty of variety, Hardesty said he’ll have a roster of at least 30 trucks to work with, including the Guerrilla Street Food truck, and five to nine trucks will be scheduled per service. He’s currently working to finalize a list of trucks.

Hardesty said the name 9 Mile Garden hearkens back to when areas were named for their distance from the city center — the concept is nine miles from the St. Louis Courthouse. The “garden” portion of the name derives from the truck gardens that were once prevalent in the area, where farmers would line up their trucks to sell their harvest.

Hardesty said construction will begin this month and he hopes to open for business sometime in April, weather permitting.

Matt Sorrell is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine.