Franklin Yard is Columbia’s original hospitality and entertainment destination reborn in the halls and yard of a former school and Abbey. The story began in 1828, when the Franklin Inn (later called the Buck Tavern) was a stage coach stop in Columbia and the region’s favorite watering hole through the late 1800s and early 1900s. The property was also home to the Immaculate Conception Church and School from the late 1800s until the present day, with the Abbey serving as an iconic landmark on Main Street.

Now, it is the walls and halls of the former school that are becoming a premier entertainment destination for the St. Louis region once again, featuring a full-service boutique hotel, upscale farm-to-table restaurant, state-of-the-art sports bar, and much more. This is all in addition to the existing crown jewel of the property, the Main Street Abbey wedding & event venue space.

Franklin Yard promises to be a destination where old school hospitality meets new school fun. It’s a place where you can act like an adult but still feel young at heart. All the while, discriminating décor and elevated experiences will make any guest feel like they are the “head of the class.”

Photo: Franklin Inn, 1842

Coming in Spring of 2024, the former building housing the Immaculate Conception School will be transformed into a stylish boutique hotel with 41 guest rooms, from studios to family style suites with bunkbeds. The decor will honor the past with subtle touches of original architecture and memorabilia, such as exposed brick, chalkboards, lockers and much more. At the same time, the hotel will feature modern conveniences and luxury, including a salt soak pool, pool side bar, fire pit lounge, garden lounge, meeting space, and gift shop with grab-and-go food.

As part of the final phase of the project, one of the largest sports bars in the area will take center court in the old gym. A modern, state-of-the-art design featuring walls of TVs, virtual golf suites, darts, and arcade games will be seamlessly integrated with the original hardwood floors, basketball hoops and scoreboard from the gym. Guests can enjoy their favorite bar sports leagues, such as washers, corn hole, darts, and ladder golf, or simply watch the action in the open kitchen with its authentic wood burning pizza oven. An upscale menu of scratch-made bar food, 30+ beers on tap, hand-selected wine, and unique cocktails can be enjoyed inside the gym or outside on the large covered patio.

Goodbye School Lunch Lady. Hello Wine Sommelier. The former school cafeteria will undergo a radical transformation into a world-class farm-to-table restaurant with a four seasons patio. A menu featuring a fusion of American and French classics will mix a small core selection of favorites with extensive daily specials all using fresh and local ingredients. A discerning, yet extensive, wine list and cocktail menu will round out this unique, “after school” experience.

Over the last five years, the historic church was fully renovated into one of the area’s most stunningly beautiful wedding and event spaces and is currently open and taking reservations.

Recent renovations and additions offer new options and features for guests. An outdoor covered terrace brings flexibility for an array of events and themes, while the old covent renovation added a community cafe, hair salon and two loft apartments. Also incorporated in the building is our new “Groom’s Room,” which is rented in conjunction with the event space, and gives our grooms a space of their own to relax before their big event.

The old rectory renovation included the addition of four high-end loft apartments and a space designated just for our brides. This space gives our brides a place to get ready for their wedding and offers many picture-worthy spaces for lifetime memories.