Riverfront restaurant inside the historic Ozark Mill opens, serving farm-inspired dishes
Ozark, Mo. (September 2, 2021) – Finley Farms today announced The Ozark Mill Restaurant overlooking the Finley River will open to the public Friday, September 3. Guests can enjoy farm-to-table cuisine including delectable seasonal dishes, handmade pastas and fire-baked sourdough pizzas. The menu features handcrafted dishes using 28 types of organically-grown produce sourced from the high-yield on-property farm. In addition to the scenic riverfront restaurant, The Ozark Mill’s first floor also features a general store offering pantry staples and a one-of-a-kind event venue, The Hawkins Room. Reservations are currently required to dine at The Ozark Mill Restaurant. To make a reservation or view restaurant hours, visit finleyfarmsmo.com.
“We are so honored to be reopening the historic Ozark Mill,” said Megan Stack. “Countless hours have been spent restoring The Mill to create a place for the community to gather and celebrate. We’re grateful for the hard work and passion our team, mill experts, historians and community members have contributed to preserving this special space and we look forward to sharing it with locals and visitors alike.”
Ongoing renovations at The Mill will continue to include additional gathering spaces, both honoring the legacy of Ozark’s famed Riverside Inn. Located on the lower level, The Riverside Room will be a gathering place for wedding receptions and special events and The Garrison, a turn-of-the-century speakeasy, a space for craft cocktails and social gatherings. A self-guided tour through the property will also be available later this year where guests can take in the rich, vibrant history of The Ozark Mill.
In addition, guests will be able to connect with nature by taking a walk across the historic Riverside Bridge to The Chapel, a wooded venue located on the banks of the Finley River, opposite of The Mill. Both venues are now booking events for 2022. A grand opening celebration for The Ozark Mill is planned for this fall with dates being released in the coming weeks.
A Vision Comes to Life
In 1993, noted conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops, Johnny Morris, purchased The Ozark Mill with a vision to preserve the building’s historic structure and reopen the Ozark landmark as a riverfront restaurant. In 2016, his daughter Megan Stack became involved in the project and developed a broader dream for an urban farm, coffee shop and trail connections. Together, Morris and Stack, along with key local residents, have worked to make Finley Farms a historic destination and reopen The Ozark Mill as a centerpiece for the Ozark community.
The Ozark Mill’s Rich History
Originally built in 1833 and preserved with care, The Ozark Mill serves as the heart of Finley Farms. The grist mill was located at the convergence of the Finley River and the Ozark Trace, the mail delivery route through the area. In addition to being a gathering place for the community, The Mill filled many of the critical functions of the settlement such as the Post Office for receiving weekly deliveries. In 1992, the structure retired as the last commercially operating watermill in Missouri before being purchased by Morris. With the help of talented engineers and construction workers, the entire mill was rolled back from the Finley River so its foundation could be restored in 2018. It was repositioned on the edge of the water and flood gates were installed. Thanks to mill experts, historians and the local community, The Ozark Mill has been restored in a genuine and authentic way for all to enjoy.
For more information, visit finleyfarmsmo.com or facebook.com/finleyfarmsmo.
About Finley Farms
Finley Farms is restoring and reimagining the historic Ozark Mill property to create a sprawling gathering place featuring restaurants, vibrant event venues, hands-on experiences, an urban farm and more. A family passion project—generations of the Morris family have had connections to Ozark, the Finley River and the milling industry. Originally built in 1833, the Ozark Mill serves as the heart of the property. Inside, The Ozark Mill restaurant, The Garrison speakeasy and museum tell the seldom heard stories of the Ozarks way of life through culinary craftsmanship and educational experiences. Beyond The Mill, property highlights include The Chapel, the historic Riverside Bridge, a coffee shop and an urban farm.