Rome’s Mellow Mushroom restaurant located on Broad Street downtown is a glocal establishment -yes glocal: a mesh of global and local, or in this case, a national brand that has secured a down-home feel along with the trust of regular, friendly, and in-the-know customers and employees.
Many a good time and good laughs have been shared in the place. The Beer Club Member plaque on the wall inside the restaurant stands testament to this. Some of my good friends work there, but those particular friendships are all inclusive, like Mellow Mushroom’s beer list, and are shared by acquaintances and strangers alike.
Mellow sits in a closely clustered set of brown brick buildings that turn reddish during the evening. Kind of like the effect of going into a movie while it is still light out, and finishing when it is dark; eating a cool salad on Thursday evening over the one dollar house wine special achieves something close to that feeling, which is something close to a dinning coup de grace. The southern rock emanating from the bar’s speakers will round out the Mellow experience, almost too rough for the smooth texture of this scene; although those types of imperfections are just right for a place like Mellow Mushroom.
One must remember Mellow’s hand is forced. It must deliver.The clientele ranges from business casual to downtown hipster. A tool in their culinary toolbox is a beautiful waitress with a hyphened first name like Lisa-Anne or Rosa-Lee who is honestly too stunning to be in a small town but her heart is here anyways. She is just the right amount of friendly and dang-it, her glance lingers long enough to make you think you’ve met her before..this reminds me that a downtown twosome is better than the lonely dignity of an individual dining alone.
After my last dinner there I left with a question: do I need to turn in my v-neck and sneakers for an Oxford and a pair of Rockports? I forgot that I do not have to answer that question on a Mellow in night, and that is why people go there.