Mushroom melts down, loudly

Article Published: Aug. 19, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Mushroom melts down, loudly

The Mellow Mushroom in Boone is set to close Wednesday, Aug. 25, and area bands will provide a musical send-off on Saturday, Aug. 21.

Photo by Lauren K. Ohnesorge

Saturday's sendoff will be anything but mellow.

Area bands have come together to celebrate the end of a restaurant era: The Mellow Mushroom.

It's the Mellow Mushroom Meltdown and 4 p.m. Saturday will bring beer specials, music and the gourmet pizza MM has been famous for.

"We feel it's fair to the public for them to have one last kind of party, a hoorah," manager Jonathan Leather said.

After all, it's patron loyalty that has kept them on Rivers Street this long.

"It's just disappointing," Leather said. "I understand the flow of everything, but it just kind of sucks for the people who have been working here."

The "flow of everything," insiders say, is the lease not being offered to the Mellow Mushroom for continued occupancy. Instead, a new installment of Frankie's Pizza is coming to the location.
Property owner Templeton Properties had no comment for The Mountain Times last month, but did confirm the closure. While a Mellow Mushroom will still be a few minutes down the road in Blowing Rock, the Boone location was special, employees say.

"It's kind of what I always thought of when I thought of Boone," Leather said.

A Wilkes native, he's been at MM for three years and, when the restaurant closes for good Aug. 25, he'll be among the unemployed.

"The reaction from the public has been crazy," he said. "This is like a staple place in the community."

Naked Gods front man and vocalist Seth Sullivan would agree.

"That's where I ate when I graduated college," he said. "That's where my parents and I went for lunch."

And it's not just about him. His band frequents the pizza joint.

"We, in fact, ate there about an hour and a half ago," he said Monday. "It's one of our favorite places to go and hang out, and it's not going to be there anymore."

That's why the Naked Gods are participating in the send off, jamming out to say goodbye to one of their favorite traditions, and they're not alone.

""We're going to clear the deck for the bands," Galaxy Jam's William Minor said.
Think a lot full of people.

"It's a free party," Minor said. "It should be the biggest party ever."

His improvisational electric group rounds out the lineup with Americana pickers Upright and Breathin', and local jazz group Airhorse, Minor said. Expect Boone-based DJ Fyah Babylon to spin between sets.

The fun, including pizza and beer specials, starts at 4 p.m. Saturday and lasts until midnight.

Beat It
Got restaurant news? E-mail editor Frank Ruggiero at ( , snail mail Mountain Times Publications, Attn: Frank Ruggiero, 474 Industrial Park Drive, Boone, N.C. 28607, or call (828) 264-NEWS and ask for Frank.

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