A new dining destination inside the historic Ozark Mill is set to open this July, serving elegant shareable dishes and high-brow cocktails.
Ozark, Mo. (June 1, 2022) – Finley Farms today announced The Garrison, a fine dining social affair tucked away beneath The Ozark Mill, will open to the public Friday, July 1, 2022. Patrons can indulge in high-brow cocktails and upscale cuisine including seafood, steaks and curiosities such as bison tartare. Reservations are required to experience The Garrison and will be made available on Friday, June 17 at 10 a.m. For reservations and restaurant hours, visit finleyfarmsmo.com/thegarrison.
The restaurant highlights the legacy of Ozark’s famed Riverside Inn and its original proprietor, Howard Garrison. “The Riverside Inn was such a special place for folks in the Ozarks, including our family,” says Megan Stack, co-founder of Finley Farms & The Ozark Mill. “Howard Garrison embodied the spirit of the Ozarks with his rebellious attitude, creativity and genial hospitality. Being only a mile downstream from Riverside Inn, we are thrilled to be able to honor that legacy and offer the community a new place to make special memories on the Finley River.”
Designed for sharing, The Garrison’s menu features fine fare that draws inspiration from Ozarks traditions and Riverside Inn’s offerings. While much of the restaurant’s menu was French-forward, many in the community remember Riverside Inn for its fried chicken. “We wanted to honor Riverside Inn by putting our spin on the classic Ozarks dish,” says Executive Chef Kevin Korman. Before creating a new representation of the beloved recipe, Korman and Stack consulted with former owner Eric Engel. Additionally, the bill of fare showcases 17 types of organically-grown produce sourced from the property’s farm. Those looking to imbibe can choose from eight high-brow cocktails inspired by The Mill’s intricate machinery.
Located on the lower level of The Ozark Mill, the candlelit hideout features heirlooms from Riverside Inn and Garrison’s original artwork. A cozy patio space lined with fire pits offers additional seating and unmatched views of the Finley River, mill pond dam and the historic Riverside Bridge. Large parties can reserve The Pantry, a private dining room located right next to The Garrison’s kitchen. The unique, European-inspired dining experience allows guests to be part of the back-of-house hustle and bustle while providing a more intimate experience.
With the opening of The Garrison, The Ozark Mill’s renovations are nearing completion. Adjacent to The Garrison sits The Riverside Room, the property’s largest event space featuring vaulted metal barrel ceilings and stunning views of the dam on the Finley River. Ideal for large celebrations including wedding receptions, corporate meetings and more, the venue is available for rental. Later this year, The Ozark Mill’s history tour will open, allowing visitors to become familiar with the personalities, traditions and tales that shape the spirit of the Ozarks.
Finley Farms & The Ozark Mill has plans to offer more unforgettable experiences. Future phases include overnight accomodations, a river outfitters, nature trails and a brewery.
Honoring Riverside Inn’s Rich History
Howard Garrison was the owner of Ozark’s famed Riverside Inn restaurant that was located 1.5 miles upstream from The Ozark Mill on the Finley River. He was also a talented artist and, at times, a rebel outlaw. During Prohibition, police arrested Howard more than once for allowing his patrons to gamble and drink.
Underneath Howard’s gruff exterior was a soft heart and passion for hospitality. During the Supper Club Era, countless parties took place on the sprawling patio and carried late into the night. The community cherished the Riverside Inn as a second home—even volunteering to clean when the river repeatedly flooded its quarters.
Howard passed away in 1974, but his restaurant remained open until 2009. Today, The Garrison pays homage to Howard Garrison and the Riverside Inn.
For the downloadable press kit, click here. For more information, visit finleyfarmsmo.com/thegarrison or facebook.com/finleyfarmsmo.
About Finley Farms & The Ozark Mill
Located on the banks of the Finley River in Ozark, Missouri, Finley Farms is restoring and reimagining the historic Ozark Mill property to create a sprawling nature-based gathering place and farm-forward dining destination. Initially built in 1833 and preserved with care, The Ozark Mill serves as the heart of the property. After retiring as the last commercially operating watermill in Missouri, Johnny Morris, noted conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops, purchased The Mill with a vision for a riverfront restaurant. In 2018, a team of talented engineers and construction workers rolled the entire mill back from the riverbank so its foundation could be restored and elevated from the hungry flood waters of the Finley River. The Ozark Mill reopened to the public in September 2021. Together, Morris and his daughter Megan Stack have worked to make Finley Farms a historic attraction that symbolizes the spirit of the Ozarks. The property also features a riverfront chapel, historic bridge, coffee shop and farm.