Mellow Mushroom will open its 100th store in Covington, La., on July 26. Mellow Mushroom now operates in 14 states.
Founded by three Georgia college students, the first Mellow Mushroom opened its doors in Atlanta in 1974. The founders opened a second location within a year and began franchising in 1985.
Mellow Mushroom grew fairly slowly for the first 20 years after it began franchising. Interest spiked several years ago as locations opened in new cities. Mellow Mushroom has experienced the fastest growth in company history over th past two years, with roughly one new store opening per month.
Touted as "bohemian-chic," most locations feature eye-catching dÃ©cor, including 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 company's logo. His art has become synonymous with Mellow Mushroom and is featured on merchandise including restaurant murals, menus, calendars and Christmas cards.
All Mellow Mushrooms have a large menu offering an assortment of pizzas, salads, hoagies and calzones, and most offer a large selection of beer, including 20-40 varieties on draft and 50 or more varieties in bottles.