The Georgia-based Mellow Mushroom pizza franchise opened its doors for lunch on Mill Avenue in Tempe today.
The former Z Gallerie space underwent extensive renovations to welcome the new eatery, including the installation of an open kitchen with top-of-the-line pizza ovens, a bar with rotating record player art and a new outdoor patio facing the spectacle of Mill Avenue.
Owner Jay Beskind promises "colorful eclectic art, hip music and excellent food." We can't speak for the food (yet), but the place is pretty artistic. Walls are decorated with graffiti art murals and tricked-out skate decks painted by a dozen local artists.
Beyond the standard Hawaiian and meat pies, Mellow Mushroom offers groovy pizza combinations including the Kosmic Karma with sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, spinach and feta, Mediterranean and Caesar versions, and a delicious sounding red skin potato pie with applewood-smoked bacon and caramelized onions. They've also got steak & cheese calzones, a couple of salads and hoagies, and bar-style munchies like pretzels and stuffed portobellos.
Hours are Sunday-Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Thursday through Saturday, 10:30 am to 4 a.m. It'll be nice to have a place to grab a slice come last call on the weekends -- though with the demise of Sucker Punch Sally's, Stan's Deli and Uno's, we'll keep our fingers crossed.