Sunday, March 6, 2011

Florence goes Shroomin'...

This coming Monday, the Mellow Mushroom opens here in Florence. Last night, the MM hosted a friends and family event as kind of a closed opening to show off their new digs and as kind of a practice run for opening this coming week.









The Mellow Mushroom is located in what was the old Shoney's at Magnolia Mall, but you wouldn't know it to look at it. With an outdoor deck and bar, full bar, the bright psychedelic colors MMs are known for, and a Mushroom Express bus-kids-area inside, there's no trace of a breakfast bar any where.

In case you've never been to a MM, their specialty is of course, pizza. Little known fact, back in the day, the 'Pine used to toss a few pies ourself. In fact, we ran a kitchen that handmade its own sauce and dough in making NY-style pizza. So we know a little about italian pies. Trust us when we say MM pizza is good. Their claim to fame on the pizza is that they use only spring water in making their crusts. Now...does that make a big difference? All we can say, is MM consistently has some of the better pizza crust we've eaten. It's light and fluffy, with just the right balance of crispy and chewiness. They've got plenty of great specialty pies. Last night, we went with a Buffalo Chicken and the House and both were great. They've also got great appetizers (the Bruschetta and Capri were both very tasty) , salads, calzones and hogies. The food is all very tasty and the music and decor make the atmosphere pop.

Now...to get to really good stuff: the Beer. As you can see from the pic of the bar...that's a lot of taps. In fact, that's just half of the taps showing in the pic. There's more to the right, not shown in the pic. In addition to all the draft offerings, MM also offers a wide variety of bottled beers. In addition to offering this wide variety of beers, MM has a great way to encourage folks to actually try them: the Mellow Mushroom Beer Club. Try 100 different beers in a year...get on their Wall of Fame, get your own personalized mug and get beer specials. (After last night, we have only 96 beers to go).

When you think about it, that's a pretty smart way to encourage people to try all your beers, thus ensuring people actually drink all your beers, which in turn helps you stock all those beers. One problem we've seen with another new place here in Florence, is that they've run into problems with their distributor actually stocking all the different brands they advertise. Since this MM is owned by the same folks who own the MM at the beach, we don't think that will be a problem.

That brings up a pretty cool thing we saw last night. In appreciation to all their loyal customers from the beach, the owners chartered a bus and brought all their beer club members up from the beach last night to check out the new Florence restaurant. As they told us, the place in Florence would not have been possible without those folks, so they wanted to say thank you. The bus was pretty full and was a rolling party filled with their customers from the beach. That's pretty damn cool and shows sense of community they hope to build here in Florence. They have lots of theme nights, like New Beer Mondays, Trivia nights, 80s Ladies night, Live music on Saturdays and Contemporary Christian music on Sunday afternoons.

They told us they had over 1100 apply for jobs and actually hired about 140. In addition to bringing Florence a new option for eating, they have brought in jobs and hopefully a place that helps foster a sense of community. We look forward to hitting up the MM and maybe trying to catch "the Godfather," one of their regulars who has drank over 1100 different beers in a year. That, my friends, is a man who likes his suds...

Check out the Mellow Mushroom starting Monday

1 comment:

Mike Reino said...

A new pizza joint in Flotown? Is this another ploy to get me back for Purple Haze's and TC?

Meanwhile, RIP, Shoney's.... Loved the meatloaf.