Mellow Mushroom has plans to open a new location in downtown Ocala.
The pizza restaurant, which has a sister location in Mount Dora, is taking over the building that formerly housed Brothers’ Keeper Thrift Store (2 W Fort King St.) in the historic Coleman building. The thrift store moved earlier this year to 320 NW 10th St.
With more than 185 locations in 23 states, Mellow Mushroom has quickly become a national brand known for its creative stone-baked pizzas and funky, art-filled restaurants.
The company was founded more than 40 years ago in Georgia by three college students and is still serving pizzas made with a signature premium dough that’s crafted with Appalachian spring water and unbleached wheat flour. Many of the current eateries are located near universities or colleges. And each is unique and designed to feature the work of local artists.
A variety of specialty pizzas fill the menu, including a “Holy Shitake Pie” that is loaded with shitake, button and Portobello mushrooms. The restaurant chain also offers one-of-a-kind pizzas, dietary-friendly offerings and a variety of build-your-own choices menu categories that include pizzas, munchies, calzones, sandwiches, salads and a wide variety of craft brews and hand-crafted cocktails, as well as gluten-free and vegan items.
The Ocala restaurant, expected to open sometime next summer, will become part of half a dozen restaurants and bars that have opened recently or have plans to open soon in the downtown area. In early October, both Bank Street Patio Bar and The Black Sheep on Broadway opened their doors, and earlier this spring, Big Hammock Brewery did the same.