According to a newspaper clipping, I found online:
St. Louis is credited with being the first city in America to develop outdoor restaurants and theaters. But it wasn’t until 1854 that the beer garden came into its own, when Franz Joseph Uhrig built a garden restaurant and theater in a wooded tract containing a cave for the natural cooling of beer.
Thus began this city’s long-time love affair with the Beer Garden, a tradition that is continuing to this very day.
Welcome to the Rockwell Beer Garden
Rockwell Beer is opening a second location – Rockwell Beer Garden – at Francis Park in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood of South St. Louis.
The new location features a walk-up food counter, concession stand, and outdoor dining/gathering space and will be located within a reimagined 1929 “comfort center” building adjacent to the Francis Park tennis courts.
Rockwell Beer Garden is scheduled to open later this summer following extensive renovations and upgrades to the facility and will operate on a seasonal basis.
Bringing Back The Beer Garden
In a nod to St. Louis’ past beer garden culture, Rockwell Beer Garden is designed to be a focal point for community gathering within the park, complete with plenty of outdoor seating, fire pits, and an outdoor recreation area. In addition to offering Rockwell’s Beer menu, the Francis Park location will serve cocktails, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages.
The beer garden will also offer newly inspired, family-friendly fare, as well as some full-service dining options.
“We are obsessed with reinvigorating the longstanding beer garden culture in St. Louis because it
provided such a tremendous sense of community to people in our city,” said Rockwell Beer Co. co-
founder James Sanders.
How It Came Together
“With the tremendous help and support of various St. Louis Hills neighborhood associations, Alderman Tom Oldenberg, and the City of Saint Louis, our Rockwell team is creating a gathering spot in Francis Park that has something for the entire family. As a longtime St. Louis Hills resident, I am especially proud of this accomplishment.”
After extensively researching the city’s beer garden heritage at the Missouri History Museum,
Sanders and fellow Rockwell Beer Co. co-founder and development partner Chris Hulse worked
closely with members of the St. Louis Hills community to bring the beer garden to Francis Park.
The goal was to have Rockwell Beer Garden become an integral part of visits to Francis Park while
respecting the neighborhood and history of the park.
As part of the renovations, the City of St. Louis Parks Department will make improvements to the
Francis Park tennis courts – some of which will be repurposed as pickleball courts. The Rockwell
Beer Garden will have pickleball equipment available by request for visitors to enjoy the updated
“It has been a rewarding process to work with the Rockwell team and help them bring the Rockwell experience to Francis Park,” said Oldenberg. “The park is the crown jewel of our neighborhood. Having a new place – with high-quality food and drinks – for people of all ages to gather makes the park even more special.”