It was a noted absence that left some local pizza lovers in a funk. Now after several months of closure, one of Mount Dora’s favorite pizza joints has re-opened its doors.
Although much of Mount Dora’s Mellow Mushroom remains the same, a lot has changed. For starters there is new ownership and management. Established restaurateurs, Chuck and Stacey Votey, purchased the property in March, 2022, and have since completely remodeled the interior and exterior of the building located at 18221 U.S. Highway 441. The vibrant and eclectic interior is now more open and colorful, while the exterior is also brighter and has a modern vibe.
The Votey’s pizza journey began in 2004 when they opened their first Mellow Mushroom franchise in Winter Park. Eventually, they expanded by adding a location on International Drive near SeaWorld and one near the University of Central Florida. The Apopka residents weren’t shopping for a fourth location, but when the 2,764-square-foot Mount Dora location became available, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
The menu not only has a variety of stone-baked pizzas, but also offers appetizers, salads, calzone, burgers, hoagies, vegan items and a full bar. Mellow Mushroom also is mindful of dietary restrictions, so it offers a gluten-free pizza crust and vegan cheese as options.
The long bar with high-top tables features 24 brews on tap, some of which are made in nearby microbreweries. Mellow Mushroom also touts its quality cocktails that include fresh-squeezed fruit juices, handmade sours, signature syrups, and premium mixers made with all-natural ingredients. Adjacent to the bar is a 1,009-square-foot outdoor patio that can seat more hungry diners and thirsty drinkers.
In order to put their food, cocktails, service and atmosphere on the front burner, the new owners are holding off on featuring live music and entertainment in order to focus on what they do best. “We’ve been doing it a long time. We love what we do,” said Chuck.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers originated in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1974 and now operates in 19 states. Each Mellow Mushroom restaurant is locally owned and operated and provides a unique and eclectic atmosphere. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, visit the area's websiteand download the area's free mobile app. Be sure to followMount Dora Buzz's Instagram and Facebook page for more local info.