Mellow Mushroom Opens 100th Store

According to a press release, Mellow Mushroom, an Atlanta-based pizzeria with locations sprinkled throughout Southeastern college towns and beyond, will open its 100th store in Covington, La. on July 26, 2009. The funky and delicious pizzeria has attracted a loyal following over the last 35 years, slowly venturing out into 14 states, including states as west as Arizona and as north as Ohio. 

Founded by 3 Georgia college students, the first Mellow Mushroom, a funky hole-in-the-wall pizza joint, opened its doors in Atlanta in1974 and quickly attracted crowds that spilled out onto the sidewalks.  Georgia Tech students Rocky Reeves and Mike Nicholson and UGA student Marc Weinstein opened the first location as a hang out for their peers because they felt Atlanta needed a laid-back, quality pizza spot.  Recognizing that they had something special, the founders opened a second location within a year and began franchising 10 years later, in 1985.

“We opened the first Mellow Mushroom as a funky joint for our friends to hang out and eat good food,” said Mellow Mushroom founder Marc Weinstein. “Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined the growth we have experienced and the loyal following we have created.  To all of our customers and fans, we would like to say thank you!”

Mellow Mushroom grew fairly slowly for the first 20 years after it began franchising.  Interest spiked 3-4 years ago as locations opened in new cities and word spread about the pizzeria.  Despite the current economic slowdown over the past two years, Mellow Mushroom has experienced the fastest growth in company history, with roughly one new store opening per month.

Touted as “bohemian-chic,” each Mellow Mushroom location has its own unique flair while maintaining the fun, energetic and artsy atmosphere that distinguishes Mellow Mushroom from the typical pizza joint.  Most locations feature eye-catching décor, including colorful and funky murals designed by Mellow Mushroom art director Buddy Finethy  Finethy has been with the company since 1987 and created the Mel character featured in the logo.  His art has become synonymous with Mellow Mushroom’s appeal and is featured on all Mellow Mushroom  merchandise including restaurant murals, menus, calendars, and Christmas cards. 

All Mellow Mushrooms have a large menu offering a delicious assortment of pizzas, salads, hoagies and calzones, and most offer a large selection of beer, including 20-40 on draft and 50 or more in bottles.  By standing firmly behind their goal of serving the finest product possible in terms of health and taste, the Mellow Mushroom name has become synonymous with quality.  Visit for merchandise, menus and locations.  Contact Mary Lou Baxter by email at or phone at 404-374-6184 for more information or to set up an interview.