It's official — Mellow Mushroom, the stoner-themed pizza restaurant that's become somewhat of a craze, is open in Fort Lauderdale.
The Atlanta-based chain was founded in 1974 from the "free-wheelin' hippie culture of the 1970s" and has grown from one restaurant to more than 150 locations. The latest Mellow Mushroom opened quietly at 525 N. Federal Highway in Flagler Village and serves craft pizza, beer, and cocktails.
Although a chain, each Mellow Mushroom is decorated in a format to suit its neighborhood. Fort Lauderdale's Mellow Mushroom is decked out in an Under the Sea theme, complete with upside-down palm trees, depth-finder columns, a shark cage, and a beer aquarium — a glass beer cooler that glows in blue and green hues. The centerpiece of the room is an 18-foot-long, eight-foot-high tuna made from reclaimed metal.
Mellow Mushroom Fort Lauderdale also features an indoor/outdoor bar and an extended patio where the restaurant will host block parties. In the future, Mellow Mushroom will host live music, bar games, a ladies' night, and even yoga on the patio. Diners will also be able to watch their favorite games at the 80-inch television and enjoy music on a special sound system throughout the entire space — including the restrooms.
Owners Louis Elosta and Eric Wilson are happy to bring Mellow Mushroom's pizzas, craft beers, and cocktails to Fort Lauderdale.
“Fort Lauderdale is a vibrant community," says Elosta. "Mellow builds on the artful culture. We are one of a handful of retail spaces in a multiblock mixed-use development and front Federal Highway off the public plaza. The plaza will be shared with the neighboring tenant and will serve as the extended patio area for one of the largest ongoing block-party atmospheres ever seen at a Mellow. We will also be working on a rotating gallery of local art school students.”
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Of course, the restaurant is known for its pizzas that give nods to stoner culture like the Kosmic Karma, made with feta and mozzarella cheeses, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and Roma tomatoes with a pesto swirl ($12.49 to $24.49); the Holy Shiitake, made with olive oil, shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, mozzarella, and montamore cheeses and then drizzled with garlic aioli and black truffle oil ($12.49 to $24.49); and the Thai Dye, with grilled curry chicken, mozzarella cheese, Roma tomatoes, onions, fresh basil, cucumbers, and Thai chili sauce ($12.49 to $24.99).
In addition to regular pizzas, Mellow Mushroom offers gluten-free and vegan versions of many pizzas. Diners can also customize their own vegan and gluten-free pies.
Mellow Mushroom Fort Lauderdale is located at 525 N. Federal Highway, Suite 500, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-712-9527, or visit mellowmushroom.com. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.