The Mellow Mushroom, a chain known as much for its art-filled restaurants tailored to each location as its pizza, is coming to Cartersville. The restaurant, owned by Frank Kenney and Leon Berry, will be located at 28 S. Wall St., the former site of Antonino’s Italian Grotto.
Downtown Development Association Director Tara Currier said she was excited to welcome the restaurant to Cartersville.
“Just as far as their overall operation, how they decorate — interior and exterior — they always really try to make sure they are fitting in with the community in which they’re going, while also offering a very unique atmosphere that you aren’t going to find anywhere else,” she said.
According to a press release, the planned restaurant will offer a full-service bar, outside patio and a wide-ranging menu including calzones, hoagies and gluten-free options aside from pizza. This menu, Currier said, will be “an incredible draw” for downtown Cartersville, as customers have been known to drive many miles to eat at the restaurant.
“I think Mellow Mushroom, for people who are familiar with the brand, it is a destination,” she said. “... The fact that we’re going to have that downtown, on such a visible corner, I think is going to be instrumental in increasing traffic to all our restaurants and other shops and services downtown.”
The building, which Antonino’s vacated earlier this year, will be remodeled before Mellow Mushroom moves in, Currier added. She said the owners plan to incorporate local themes such as the Etowah River and draw inspiration from local retailers such as Cohutta Fishing Company and Blue Sky Outfitters in the restaurant’s artwork.
Kenney and Berry also may become involved with the downtown farmers market and purchase locally sourced produce to use in the restaurant, Currier said.
In a press release the restaurant owners said, “We look forward to serving Cartersville with great food and spirits for the long term. We also are very eager to start getting involved in the community in every way we can.”
In terms of job growth, Currier said the restaurant expects to have 80 to 100 full-time employees and an initial employment of 100 to 125. These numbers would make the Mellow Mushroom the largest commercial employer in the downtown district.
According to the press release, the owners hope to have the Mellow Mushroom open in December.