The Waterside location of Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers is opening tomorrow for its first day of Shroomer delight in a modern space filled with elements of mystery and imagination.
"Downtown was themed around Coca-Cola, but there wasn't nearly as natural a theme for this location because it was a brand new building," says Jason Jones, who owns Mellow Mushroom with his wife, Samantha. "Our theme is essentially the idea of questions and answers and revealing things slowly over time. We wanted everything to be beautiful and interesting to look at, but also mysterious.
Mellow Mushroom Waterside features many creative and unique touches that are inspired by "Alice in Wonderland," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and the long successful history of Mellow Mushroom. The mystery and fun begin with a keyhole design that is a main feature of the new entrance along with glass panels on either side with Cheshire cat imagery.
"Big-picture wise, it all starts with that keyhole," Jason says. "It's as if you are peering into Mellow land. Once you go through the keyhole, everything is different."
Traditional seating is available throughout the two wings of the dining room, however, Jones says the most popular indoor dining area will be the stadium. Stadium seating is available in the center of the restaurant with raised platforms featuring two sixtop tables that allow guests to dine with an unhindered view into the open kitchen.
"No matter what kind of seating you like, you'll soon find your favorite spot and all the seating is hand picked and so comfortable," says Samantha Jones.
Directly in front of the stadium seating is the area where professional cooks toss dough and add fresh ingredients to create the same delicious recipes as the downtown location. Bradley Johnson, a member of the U.S. National Pizza Team is working as a kitchen shift leader at the new location. As a freestyle pizza tossing champion, Johnson will add a new level of excitement and energy to the kitchen.
"Mellow Mushroom is not just about the food, it is also about the show," Jason says. "We don't hide anything from our guests."
The bar area of the restaurant is community-oriented, featuring a friendly and open atmosphere. There is a variety of barside seating with a sawtooth shaped bar as well as a community table that is made out of white maple.
"Of course everyone wants to belly up to the 64- tap bar," says Samantha, who included conveniently accessible power outlets under the bar and free Wi-Fi for guests who want to grab a drink while continuing to work.
Mellow Mushroom's covered patio features a lounge area, traditional seating and two tables complete with Mad Hatter wingback chairs.
LOCATION: Downtown at 205 Broad St. and Waterside at 2318 Lifestyle Way.
PHONE: Downtown at 266-5564 and Waterside at 468-3737.
HOURS: Every day from 11 a.m. to midnight.
NICE TO KNOW: There is a Bocce Ball court in front of the restaurant for families and friends to use while they wait for seating.