Food & Drink

Mellow Mushroom Celebrates Fifty Years of Pillowy Pies and Groovy Vibes

The beloved Atlanta-based pizza joint is staying true to its roots, and has a cocktail to prove it

A vintage photo of the first Mellow Mushroom in Atlanta.

Photo: courtesy of mellow mushroom

The first Mellow Mushroom in Atlanta.

In 1974, the first Mellow Mushroom opened on Spring Street in Atlanta, after three Georgia Tech college friends imagined a pizza joint that served up stone-baked pies and embraced the trippy vibes of the decade. Fifty years later, there are more than 160 Mellow Mushrooms across seventeen states, and the chain is celebrating its big anniversary with limited-time menu items (like a new pizza with pepperoni, peppers, seasoned ricotta cheese, and hot honey) and pop-up happy hours spotlighting local and regional beers.

photo: courtesy of mellow mushroom
The Holy Shiitake Pie.

“At Mellow Mushroom we are equal parts great pizza and good times,” says Anne Mejia, the company’s senior vice president of brand development. “The pizza is hot, the beer is cold, and the vibe is real.” While each location has its own unique, funky interior befitting its community (school mascots pop up in the Athens and Clemson outposts, for example), the menu stays the same—built upon the secret dough recipe and red sauce and including the beloved pretzels and Esperanza dressing–topped salads. Some of Mejia’s favorites? The double-baked garlic Parmesan Cloud9 wings, the Cobb salad, and the Holy Shiitake pizza, layered with three types of mushrooms, shaved Parm, a swirl of garlic aioli, and a spritz of black truffle oil.

photo: courtesy of mellow mushroom
The Disco Peach.

While the only proper way to celebrate Mellow Mushroom turning fifty is to order some Mellow Mushroom, you can also shake up the Disco Peach, an anniversary cocktail starring rum, bourbon, and peach purée. “We named the cocktail as an ode to our roots,” Mejia says. “Disco alludes to the music scene of the seventies when we were founded, and peach is a reference to our home of Atlanta in the Peach State.” 

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Ingredients

  • Disco Peach (Yield: 1 cocktail)

    • 1 oz. bourbon

    • 1 oz. spiced rum

    • ½ oz. peach purée

    • ½ oz. sour mix

    • ½ oz. Coca-Cola


Preparation

  1. Combine bourbon, spiced rum, peach purée, and sour in a mixing glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. 

  2. Strain over fresh ice into a double old-fashioned glass and top with Coca-Cola. Garnish with a bamboo pick–skewered lemon wheel and an Albanese gummy peach ring.


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