Thursday, September 29, 2022

Mellow Mushroom on pace to open in October in Merchants Square

Mellow Mushroom's sign now hangs on the front of the restaurant's patio. (WYDaily/ Courtesy Jeff Duncan, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)
Mellow Mushroom’s sign now hangs on the front of the restaurant. (WYDaily/ Courtesy Jeff Duncan, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

The sign on the front of the building has been raised, and Mellow Mushroom owner Gray Nelson said he is in the final stages of getting the restaurant ready to go.

At the moment, Nelson said he is working with general contractors and subcontractors to finish work on the new restaurant in Merchants Square before inspections can begin.

“We’re still due to open in the fall,” owner Gray Nelson said. “We’re optimistic October is a realistic opening date.”

Nelson explained that because of the approval process, a mid-October opening date is most likely.

Once the contractors are done their work, Nelson said the restaurant will need to pass inspections from the fire and health departments before receiving a certificate of occupancy.  In addition, inspectors from Mellow Mushroom’s corporate office also must  visit the restaurant once construction is complete before the company will give Nelson permission to open.

Nelson added he will also need a permit from Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control to sell beer in the restaurant. Mellow Mushroom remains on pace to finish in the time frame Nelson offered in the spring.

While the date hasn’t been finalized, Nelson said he does plan to open on a Monday.

Mellow Mushroom will open in the Henry Street Shops in Merchants Square at 100 S. Henry St., facing Wythe Candy and the Cheese Shop.

The roughly 3,800-square-foot restaurant will feature an outdoor patio and offer a menu including gourmet pizza, calzones, salads and craft beers. Each Mellow Mushroom restaurant sports its own unique design and atmosphere.

While Williamsburg didn’t receive the blunt of Hurricane Florence, Nelson said the storm may have caused some delays for the restaurant. Rains slowed construction crews and may have slowed travel for some regionally operating subcontractors.

In the meantime, Nelson said he has hired some staff and will begin doing on-site interviews and training in the coming weeks. Nelson said he’s hired more than half of the serving staff and about half of the back-end employees he’ll need for the restaurant.

“We’re really looking forward to becoming a part of the Merchants Square community and we hope we’re bringing something that’s great, new and wonderful to the area,” Nelson said.

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