Sneak Peek: Frankie Martin's Garden Opens Friday in St. Charles County

The new food truck and entertainment complex builds upon Cottleville's independent spirit


click to enlarge Frankie Martin's Garden, opening this Friday, aims to be a community gathering place. - Lulu Nix
Lulu Nix
Frankie Martin's Garden, opening this Friday, aims to be a community gathering place.

After months of anticipation, Friday, July 1, is finally the day: Frankie Martin's Garden (5372 St. Charles Street, Cottleville; 636-244-2420), a new food truck complex from the minds behind the wildly successful 9 Mile Garden, will open to the public, bringing a first-of-its-kind dining and entertainment complex to St. Charles County.

The venue, which consists of a food truck area, a wine and whiskey house, pickleball and sand volleyball courts, a live music stage and an LED wall for viewing movies and sporting events, opens Friday on a sprawling 2 3/4 acre lot in the heart of downtown Cottleville. As managing partner Brian Hardesty explains, Frankie Martin's takes the idea of its sister property, 9 Mile Garden, as a jumping off point, building upon its success to create a concept that is unique to this part of the metro area.

"When you come to this part of the area, honestly, you see a lot of big corporate restaurant chains," Hardesty says. "It's fine, but when you get into the heart of old town Cottleville, it's maintained this independent vibe and all these independent restaurants. What we add to the conversation here is 30 food trucks that people can experience for lunch and dinner, seven days a week, which is not the norm out here. We're focusing on local businesses  — 100 different local businesses are represented on a daily basis  — and I hope that is something that people respond well to."

click to enlarge Gazpacho with shrimp from wok and roll. - Lulu Nix
Lulu Nix
Gazpacho with shrimp from wok and roll.

In addition to the pickleball and sand volleyball courts (as well as that dedicated golf cart parking lot), the biggest difference between 9 Mile Garden and Frankie Martin's Garden is the latter's wine and whiskey house. The reservations-only spot, which is located in the former house of the late longtime Cottleville resident Frankie Martin, features an extensive whiskey selection — currently at 170 bottles strong and growing — a premium wine list, table service and whiskey and wine lockers that can be rented on a yearly basis.

Not yet open, Frankie Martin's already appears to be enthusiastically embraced by the Cottleville community. On June 25, the venue hosted its first event, a bourbon and beer festival that brought 1,000 people into the park.

"Everybody seemed very excited to be here, even though it was a sweltering hot day," Hardesty says. "It was a great experience, and it seemed to be well-received. Everyone was really excited about what we are doing, and they only got to see about two-thirds of it."

click to enlarge Frankie Martin has an extensive whiskey selection. - Lulu Nix
Lulu Nix
Frankie Martin has an extensive whiskey selection.

Hardesty is excited about the food truck lineup for the inaugural Frankie Martin's season. Guests can expect a mix of established favorites and newcomers, including BEAST Craft BBQ, Lion's Choice, Wok and Roll STL, Doggie Mac's by Chef B and Wayno's. Additionally, patrons will be able to grab local craft beverages at the large beer pavilion. As Hardesty explains, the whole point of the venue is for the community to have a chance to experience the best of what the St. Louis metropolitan region has to offer in a fun, relaxing setting.

"We hope people enjoy this location, walk around the property, throw down a picnic blanket and have a good time," Hardesty says. "We want people to embrace this place and make it their own — have big parties, small parties, come out with their families or partners and have a bourbon or a glass of wine and watch live music. This is the spirit of what's happening in Cottleville; we are just expanding and riffing on that."

Frankie Martin's Garden will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Scroll down for more photos of Frankie Martin's Garden.

click to enlarge Spicy Drago Balls from Wok and Roll. - Lulu Nix
Lulu Nix
Spicy Drago Balls from Wok and Roll.

click to enlarge The covered beer pavilion is open rain or shine. - Lulu Nix
Lulu Nix
The covered beer pavilion is open rain or shine.

click to enlarge A portobello street taco from Wok and Roll. - Lulu Nix
Lulu Nix
A portobello street taco from Wok and Roll.

click to enlarge Wok and Roll is one of the 30 food trucks that can be found at Frankie Martin's. - Lulu Nix
Lulu Nix
Wok and Roll is one of the 30 food trucks that can be found at Frankie Martin's.

click to enlarge The pork street taco from Wok and Roll. - Lulu Nix
Lulu Nix
The pork street taco from Wok and Roll.

click to enlarge Whiskey and wine lockers are available for rental. - Lulu Nix
Lulu Nix
Whiskey and wine lockers are available for rental.

click to enlarge The reservations-only whiskey and wine house features a premium selection of drinks. - Lulu Nix
Lulu Nix
The reservations-only whiskey and wine house features a premium selection of drinks.

click to enlarge The whiskey and wine house is the eponymous Frankie Martin's former residence. - Lulu Nix
Lulu Nix
The whiskey and wine house is the eponymous Frankie Martin's former residence.


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