With a new look, new menu and new price point, Truck Farm Tavern re-opened in October 2020 under new management. It was open less than a year before Hurricane Ida hit, and the owners have announced it will stay shuttered permanently.
“Our last day of operation was Friday, August 27,” Ron St. Pierre, who grew up in Destrehan and served as the general manager and led the day-to-day operation of the establishment, said. “We closed on that Saturday to allow everyone to prepare for Hurricane Ida. After the storm passed, there were telephone poles down on River Road for a mile in both directions. We salvaged what food we could and donated everything to the Louisiana State Troopers.”
St. Pierre said there are several reasons why the restaurant, which created nearly 60 jobs in St. Charles Parish, will not be re-opening.
“Staffing was certainly a reason, but those challenges there aren’t specific to Truck Farm Tavern, or even to the hospitality industry,” he said. “It was an ongoing issue during COVID-19 and continues to be a challenge. We will always be grateful to those employees that stuck with us.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, St. Pierre said the restaurant’s entire staff was displaced and that he and his business partners looked at alternative business models – such as moving to counter service, opening strictly as a live music venue, or operating as a buffet for lunch – for the opportunity to re-open.
“We were looking for ways to lower prices and still offer an outstanding product,” he said. “Prices continue to climb and wages are not keeping pace. Families are faced with difficult decisions of where to prioritize their spending. We debated opening for quite some time. No matter the business model, the same factors are working against us – staffing, supply chain and increased cost. Ultimately, we had to make the difficult decision to remain closed.”
Located at 11760 River Road in St. Rose, the restaurant was opened in 2020 by St. Pierre, Mitch Rotolo and Chad Calongne. The trio have over 60 years of combined restaurant experience and collectively manage over 25 restaurants.
“To our friends and family in the community – thank you for your patronage,” St. Pierre said. “We will sincerely miss each and every one of you. We appreciate you giving us a chance to serve you and look forward to the next chapter of this storied establishment. Please support whoever comes next. Keep on truckin.’”