Ozark, Mo. – An essential piece of Ozark’s history will soon offer a modern space for both locals and tourists along the Finley River.
Finley Farms announced The Ozark Mill Restaurant is open to the public Friday, September 3.
“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.”
A look outside the mill shows the latest of Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris’ latest project – nearly 30 years in the making.
Inside, you’ll see a general store, dining areas, private rooms, event spaces, and all the original mill machinery.
In addition to the riverfront restaurant, The Ozark Mill plans to have a speakeasy and museum space on the lower level.
Although open to the public on Friday, reservations will be required to dine until the official grand opening later this fall.
The history of The Ozark Mill:
Originally built in 1833, 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 Johnny Morris the next year.
In 2016, his daughter Megan Stack became involved in the project and developed a broader idea for an urban farm, coffee shop and trail connections.
Reconstruction began in 2018 when the entire mill was rolled back from the Finley River so its foundation could be restored and moved out of the flood plain.
It was repositioned on the edge of the water, and flood gates were installed.
The mill is now situated between the McCracken Road Bridge and the recently-relocated Riverside Bridge.