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Mellow Mushroom moves into Park Ave

Published: Monday, April 22, 2013

Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 23:04


photo courtesy of Ellyahnna hall

Server Dennis Harris Jr. (left) owner Cary Fairless (middle) and pizza cook Kyle Douglas (right) are pictured in Memphis’ first Mellow Mushroom location in Germantown, Tenn.

The intersection of Park Avenue and White Station Road will soon be getting a bit mellower. The Mellow Mushroom is opening its second Memphis location. The new Mellow Mushroom will be located at Park and White Station across the street from Memphis Pizza Café.

“It’s right there on Park, which is a pretty straight shot down to the University of Memphis,” Cary Fairless, owner of the Mellow Mushroom’s Shelby and Desoto County locations, said. “I think it’s going to be a really good location for them. It’ll draw families and students. We’ll have a lot of interesting events like trivia and music that will be interesting to students. It’s a strong brand, and we’re looking forward to bringing it out. We’re big Tiger supporters and we’ll have them on the TV’s and we’ll have watch parties.”
The Mellow Mushroom is a franchise that started in Atlanta in 1974. Fairless and his wife Lori were interested in bringing it here to the Mid-South.

“We started looking at doing a Mellow Mushroom here around mid-2008,” Fairless said. “Me and my wife Lori, we own this one in Germantown. We had eaten at a Mellow Mushroom elsewhere. We liked the food, thought it was really good and we started investigating.”
Fairless said that he wanted to bring that kind of pizza here to Shelby and Desoto Counties.

“So we decided to look into it and one thing lead to another and we started working on it,” Fairless said. “We opened in January 2010. It took us almost 20 months from when we started to when we got it open.”
Some employees said that the Mellow Mushroom just has a good feel to it.

“I’ve been here since it opened up,” Dennis Harris Jr., a server at Mellow Mushroom, said. “I like the atmosphere here, the vibe is just real cool.”
Other employees of the Germantown location share the same sentiment.

“I’ve been here a little bit under a year,” Kyle Douglas, pizza cook, said. “I like working here because it’s laid back. There are good people that work here, and it’s fun.”
Fairless and his wife Lori were new to the restaurant business prior to opening the Mellow Mushroom.

“It was an existing restaurant and an existing idea and we had never been in the restaurant business,” Fairless said. “It was nice to have someone who knew what they were doing, so that we could access systems and procedures and those types of things. So we brought it out here and worked hard to make it work here. We have a partner at our second location. Andy Harvey is our partner. Andy and I go back over 30 years so he and I know each other really well.”
The new location, currently a bank building built in the late ‘60’s, will have an outer space theme.

“It kind of looks like a spaceship, I guess,” Fairless said. “The food will be consistent, but the look will be different. In looking at it, we decided that it is really a retro future space kind of theme. So it’s got some rockets and ray gun designs.”
The new Mellow Mushroom will most likely open in late July or mid-August.

“We’re moving full speed ahead,” Fairless said.  “So the sooner we can get it open that’s what we’re hoping to do — just in time for the fall semester.”

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