Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
 

Appeal Filed Against Mellow Mushroom's Avondale Plans

An appeal has been filed in response to the City of Jacksonville Planning Commission's decision to approve Mellow Mushroom's request to allow sale and service of alcoholic beverages and outside service in conjunction with their proposed 198-seat Avondale restaurant. We Love Avondale, LLC feels that their property rights will be detrimentally affected by Mellow Mushroom, due to the loss of the right of peaceable enjoyment of their properties, reduced property values due to traffic, parking, light, noise, and nuisance issues, public safety hazards, and stifling of existing businesses. Here is a look at the recently filed notice of appeal.

Published October 25, 2012 in Development      128 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature


Mellow Mushroom's proposed Avondale restaurant would replace a long abandoned Shell gas station in the heart of the Shops of Avondale.  The 198-seat restaurant would includes on-site parking and would be located directly across the street from the Brick Restaurant at the signalized intersection of St. Johns Avenue and Ingleside Avenue.


(Click on Images to Enlarge)



















Young residents enjoying a day at Mellow Mushroom in Jacksonville Beach. Image courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151235259405874&set=a.10151021881915874.479995.125443245873&type=1&theater;








128 Comments

Adam W

October 25, 2012, 03:19:28 AM
You know, I could be wrong, but at the end of the day, I don't think this is about alcohol. I don't think this is about parking. I don't think this is about the building. I think this is simply that the uppity folks in Avondale (read: not everyone who lives in Avondale) don't think Mellow Mushroom is the "right kind" of restaurant or neighbor. It's not that they don't want a restaurant, it's that this corporate pizza chain is just not classy enough or chic enough. So they're doing what they can to try to keep them out.

It's really the only explanation that makes any sense. I have a suspicion that if this weren't an issue of a Mellow Mushroom, but rather an artisan bakery or a French brasserie or something, we wouldn't necessarily be hearing a lot of these objections. Even if they wanted to serve alcohol.

These elitist pricks are worried that Mellow Mushroom will bring the "wrong kind of people" to Avondale. And that's  just not on!

Timkin

October 25, 2012, 03:45:35 AM
^ Even more reason for Mellow Mushroom to legally tell  them where they can stick it, and build the place anyway. 

Good ole Jacksonville.  A few control the masses and prevent this from being the City it should be.

Charles Hunter

October 25, 2012, 07:01:28 AM
A few days ago, I had a conversation with someone that is part of WLA.  She was quoting the "nightclub until 2am" and "largest restaurant/bar in Avondale" points.  They also talked about people parking in front of driveways and loud patrons already present, and that MM would only make it worse.

Josh

October 25, 2012, 07:26:59 AM
It's really the only explanation that makes any sense. I have a suspicion that if this weren't an issue of a Mellow Mushroom, but rather an artisan bakery or a French brasserie or something, we wouldn't necessarily be hearing a lot of these objections. Even if they wanted to serve alcohol.

None of those examples provided would present any real competition to the existing Avondale restaurants represented by WLA, which is why they care. The fact that MM will be the first restaurant with a truly kid-friendly menu only adds to it.

thelakelander

October 25, 2012, 07:45:15 AM
^Restaurants with kid-friendly menus aren't wanted?

ben says

October 25, 2012, 08:02:31 AM
You're right Adam.

I'm still pissed they're tearing down the gas station!!!

stephendare

October 25, 2012, 08:08:02 AM
These people have proven that they cannot be trusted to act in good faith.  No negotiations are honest, and they will backstab any concessions that are made for them the second that you deliver and stay good on your word.

And keep in mind that this is driven by a few merchants who meet at the Brick in the morning---all of whom depend on their customers being able to park for free on mellow mushroom's property.

The other night we overheard at Biscotti's:  "We Love Avondale is what happens when an otherwise listless herd of Window Nazis thins down to a nest of conniving better-than-thous."

Our table burst into laughter, making the other table a little sheepish about having been overheard, but heavens to mergatroid! its totally true.

KEGreene1

October 25, 2012, 08:11:22 AM
Adam W hit the nail on the head.  If all the reasons they mentioned were really true, why are they not boycotting, picketing, working on getting the existing establishments out?  While I do want a kid friendly place, their continued use of lies and false pretentces have made me dig in even more.  The local residents chose to move into a neighborhood with the shoppes not the shoppes moved into the neighborhood.  Here are some real facts: MM will increase their home values, MM will create jobs, MM will increase customers to existing shops, MM is a kid friendly pizza place,  MM is locally owned by someone who lives less than a mile from the shoppes

johnnyman

October 25, 2012, 08:21:58 AM
They should put the Mellow Mushroom at the DT/SPR Armory and the homeless center in Avondale.  Problems solved, and everyone is happy.

TPC

October 25, 2012, 08:32:56 AM
Really?!? WLA, more like WTF. I wonder if they realize they are polarizing many individuals who live in the area. With all of this negativity towards MM it makes me want to support them even more once they open up.

mbwright

October 25, 2012, 08:57:28 AM
I think the MM property owners need to put up no parking signs, and start towing immediately.  See where the customers of the other places have to park.  It is amazing the effort that is going against this project.  You would think the Doll House or strip club was going in.

jaxlore

October 25, 2012, 09:07:47 AM
This is ridiculous. For all the "pro business" talk that comes out of these WLA guys, it just a bunch of bull. When it comes to bending the rules for their own personal reasons they're totally fine with it.

If_I_Loved_you

October 25, 2012, 09:21:35 AM
From Yahoo Education
sti·fling    (stflng) KEY

ADJECTIVE:

Very hot or stuffy almost to the point of being suffocating.
Being of such a character or nature as to engender a feeling of stultification, repression, or suffocation: "The scholarly correctness of our age can be stifling" (Annalyn Swan).

Josh

October 25, 2012, 09:32:19 AM
^Restaurants with kid-friendly menus aren't wanted?

No, but it does give MM a perceived advantage over certain existing restaurants; the same restaurants worried that if 7/11 was allowed to move into that lot, it would have stolen business away from them. If a $2 pre-made ham sandwich is thought to be competition, imagine what a pizza could do!

thelakelander

October 25, 2012, 09:40:37 AM
Gotcha.  However, I don't know how an appeal on these issues would stop MM from opening, if that's the case.

Tacachale

October 25, 2012, 10:57:30 AM
The Rowdy Pizza Crowd cannot be stopped.

Steve Ducharme

October 25, 2012, 10:58:12 AM
Ah yes.  The soft bohemian elitist bigotry of the "correct" thinking people of Avondale.  It would serve them right if Mellow Mushroom pulled out and a Hooters moved in.

If_I_Loved_you

October 25, 2012, 11:23:35 AM
The Rowdy Pizza Crowd cannot be stopped.
Amen!  8)

Captain Zissou

October 25, 2012, 11:40:49 AM
I ate at MM on Southside last night and had a blast.  Food was great and promptly served, beer selection was moderately price and well planned, the bartender was one of the best and most skilled that I have ever seen in Jax outside of Dos Gatos.  We arrived for dinner at about 7:40.  On the porch a group of runners was having a post jog slice and drink.  Some kids were out in halloween costumes.  Inside we saw a group of older halloween revelers.  We left at 9:10 and the place was really starting to thin out.  I would say about 40 people were left and nobody was noisy or drunk.

Long live the RPC (that's Rowdy Pizza Crowd for all you squares)

RockStar

October 25, 2012, 11:46:09 AM
I guess the "right" crowd they are looking for are hanging out at Monty's all day everyday...

If_I_Loved_you

October 25, 2012, 11:52:41 AM
I guess the "right" crowd they are looking for are hanging out at Monty's all day everyday...
"Monty's" should be a full tilt biker bar, one can fit a lot more Harley's in one parking space?

ChefFreak

October 25, 2012, 01:05:44 PM
these WLA people are upset because they've all had a meal at MM and know the product is good. They know it's going to take business from them they know it's going to bring a younger croud with a penchant for being "strange" and they know it's going to bring some cars. MM brings cars which means the customers of the other businesses who park freely in the lot won't be able to which will limit their parking and hinder their businesses. they're afraid that MM is going to put them out of business. which is probably not the case, but it is going to spread that avondale money around a little more.

Brentt

October 25, 2012, 01:19:28 PM
Does anyone have a list of the restaurants and stores that make up "We Love Avondale"?

MEGATRON

October 25, 2012, 04:17:06 PM
I don't think the restaurants belong to WL, but am fairly certain Brick, Biscottis and Blue Fish are all against MM.

Timkin

October 25, 2012, 06:23:59 PM
I don't think the restaurants belong to WL, but am fairly certain Brick, Biscottis and Blue Fish are all against MM.


^ I would imagine they are since MM would bring a superior product, customer base,  atmosphere, and at the same time, take their business.

duvalbill

October 25, 2012, 06:32:40 PM
I don't think the restaurants belong to WL, but am fairly certain Brick, Biscottis and Blue Fish are all against MM.


^ I would imagine they are since MM would bring a superior product, customer base,  atmosphere, and at the same time, take their business.

I like Mellow, but in no world is their food better than Biscotti's.

Timkin

October 25, 2012, 06:36:56 PM
^  Still, it is doubtful they welcome the competition.

5ptscurmudgeon

October 25, 2012, 06:43:50 PM
Megatron is on it!

I will no longer spend a dime in...
Biscotti's
Bluefish
Brick
Fox

Who else do we need to add to this list? (Retailers) Let's out em now!

ChriswUfGator

October 26, 2012, 06:58:17 AM
I don't think the restaurants belong to WL, but am fairly certain Brick, Biscottis and Blue Fish are all against MM.


^ I would imagine they are since MM would bring a superior product, customer base,  atmosphere, and at the same time, take their business.

I like Mellow, but in no world is their food better than Biscotti's.

I disagree, biscottis has declined noticeably over the years, or everything else got better while it stayed the same, with the exception of the desserts that are still good. But I don't think they make those themselves anyway. The brick has always had mediocre food, the only reason I go is the outside dining and music. Frankly, none of the food on st johns is really that good, it's all 1990s style dining at year 2040 prices.

I'm in my 30s now, and the menu at biscottis is almost exactly the same as it was when I had my 21st birthday there, if that tells you anything. They're definitely not trying anymore. I still go there and the brick just because they're there, but when I want something that's actually good, I go to orsay, 13 gypsies, or taverna's not bad once you get whichever snotty waiter/waitress they give you under control.

Personally I don't like Mellow Mushroom's food that much, nor do I like dining with a bunch of screaming kids, so I've never been a huge fan of theirs. But I support their right to open, and to do so under the same conditions enjoyed by all the other restaurants in the same area. More a question of fundamental fairness for me than anything else.

MEGATRON

October 26, 2012, 09:36:37 AM
I don't think the restaurants belong to WL, but am fairly certain Brick, Biscottis and Blue Fish are all against MM.


^ I would imagine they are since MM would bring a superior product, customer base,  atmosphere, and at the same time, take their business.
As another poster noted, the quality of food at Biscottis has declined the past couple years.  We used to have a hard time picking from the daily list of specials.  Now, its seems like the same hashed over items and some form of beet salad.

As for the Brick, it is fortunate that so many folks from out of the area enjoy the ambiance because I hardly ever see folks from the neighborhood there.   Based on the fact that Brick has never added more beers on tap (its been Duke's and Stella only for at least three years) and still charges $8 per glass of cheap wine, I assume they simply believe they have a captured market and don't need to upgrade anything about their restaurant.  Good luck with that in the long term.

duvalbill

October 26, 2012, 09:56:33 AM
I don't think the restaurants belong to WL, but am fairly certain Brick, Biscottis and Blue Fish are all against MM.


^ I would imagine they are since MM would bring a superior product, customer base,  atmosphere, and at the same time, take their business.

I like Mellow, but in no world is their food better than Biscotti's.

I disagree, biscottis has declined noticeably over the years, or everything else got better while it stayed the same, with the exception of the desserts that are still good. But I don't think they make those themselves anyway. The brick has always had mediocre food, the only reason I go is the outside dining and music. Frankly, none of the food on st johns is really that good, it's all 1990s style dining at year 2040 prices.

I'm in my 30s now, and the menu at biscottis is almost exactly the same as it was when I had my 21st birthday there, if that tells you anything. They're definitely not trying anymore. I still go there and the brick just because they're there, but when I want something that's actually good, I go to orsay, 13 gypsies, or taverna's not bad once you get whichever snotty waiter/waitress they give you under control.

Personally I don't like Mellow Mushroom's food that much, nor do I like dining with a bunch of screaming kids, so I've never been a huge fan of theirs. But I support their right to open, and to do so under the same conditions enjoyed by all the other restaurants in the same area. More a question of fundamental fairness for me than anything else.

I've been out of Jax for a few years, but I still can't imagine that Mellow has better food than Biscotti's.  I've never been a fan of the brick, and would agree that they rest on their perceived laurels.  I'm now in Sarasota, and the food here doesn't hold a candle to the options in Jax.  Even if Biscotti's has regressed, it's likely better than 80% of the restaurants around here.  Jax is very underrated as a food stop.

FL Treehugger

October 26, 2012, 11:47:25 AM
"We Love Avondale, LLC feels that their property rights will be detrimentally affected by Mellow Mushroom, due to the loss of the right of peaceable enjoyment of their properties, reduced property values due to traffic, parking, light, noise, and nuisance issues, public safety hazards, and stifling of existing businesses."

I can understand all but the "stifling of existing businesses".  It's not Walmart coming in to take out the Mom & Pop stores, it's another restaurant! We stopped in Avondale one day and had to wait in line at all the restaurants so came back to Five Points where restaurants were crowded but no lines on the sidewalks.  Competition is a good thing - keeps the others on their toes.  I do understand parking issues however. 

duvalbill

October 26, 2012, 12:06:01 PM
I don't see how another restaurant will reduce property values, and I imagine WLA would have quite a difficult time providing any substantive proof to support such a contention.  Conversely, I'm sure they could find plenty of proof where the addition of restaurants and amenities near a residential area augments property values.  It's a nonsensical position, and they'd at least have an iota of conviction if they expressed their real issue with Mellow.

stephendare

October 26, 2012, 12:14:48 PM
Never mind of course that the commercial property owners also have property rights and values that they should be worried about.

thelakelander

October 26, 2012, 12:24:33 PM
How will Mellow Mushroom opening on the site of a long, blighted and closed gas station result in the reduction of property values?

MEGATRON

October 26, 2012, 01:21:43 PM
"We Love Avondale, LLC feels that their property rights will be detrimentally affected by Mellow Mushroom, due to the loss of the right of peaceable enjoyment of their properties, reduced property values due to traffic, parking, light, noise, and nuisance issues, public safety hazards, and stifling of existing businesses."
What a load of dog poo.

Bativac

October 26, 2012, 01:57:59 PM
I don't think the restaurants belong to WL, but am fairly certain Brick, Biscottis and Blue Fish are all against MM.


^ I would imagine they are since MM would bring a superior product, customer base,  atmosphere, and at the same time, take their business.

I like Mellow, but in no world is their food better than Biscotti's.

I disagree, biscottis has declined noticeably over the years, or everything else got better while it stayed the same, with the exception of the desserts that are still good. But I don't think they make those themselves anyway. The brick has always had mediocre food, the only reason I go is the outside dining and music. Frankly, none of the food on st johns is really that good, it's all 1990s style dining at year 2040 prices.

I'm in my 30s now, and the menu at biscottis is almost exactly the same as it was when I had my 21st birthday there, if that tells you anything. They're definitely not trying anymore. I still go there and the brick just because they're there, but when I want something that's actually good, I go to orsay, 13 gypsies, or taverna's not bad once you get whichever snotty waiter/waitress they give you under control.

Personally I don't like Mellow Mushroom's food that much, nor do I like dining with a bunch of screaming kids, so I've never been a huge fan of theirs. But I support their right to open, and to do so under the same conditions enjoyed by all the other restaurants in the same area. More a question of fundamental fairness for me than anything else.

I've been out of Jax for a few years, but I still can't imagine that Mellow has better food than Biscotti's.  I've never been a fan of the brick, and would agree that they rest on their perceived laurels.  I'm now in Sarasota, and the food here doesn't hold a candle to the options in Jax.  Even if Biscotti's has regressed, it's likely better than 80% of the restaurants around here.  Jax is very underrated as a food stop.

You need to stop back in and try both places. Biscotti's has been living on their reputation and proximity to other decent restaurants for awhile now. They've got pretty good dessert but the food is absolutely nothing special. Mellow Mushroom on the other hand has a pretty decent pizza - my wife especially likes their crust - and it does tend to draw a crowd.

Regarding the issue at hand - personally the whole thing seems absurd. I live right across from the new Racetrac gas station on Atlantic near Art Museum. Back before it was rebuilt, a couple neighborhood residents were trying to keep it from happening. The lady (my neighbor) came to the door and I asked "so they're going to tear down that 1980s glorified beer cage that my wife is afraid to go to anytime after dusk and replace it with a big, new, well lit brick building?" "Well yes, but it will draw SO MANY PEOPLE!!!" Lady, we live off of Atlantic Blvd. There are already a hundred thousand cars screaming past at 50 MPH every day. We knew that when we moved in. Let the property owners improve the place - at worst, I now have a safe, clean, well lit building to buy Icees and Mexican Coca Cola at midnight.

I feel the same way about Mellow Mushroom. You live right near a commercial area. To not want that commercial area to improve by the addition of new businesses is absurd, and you are wrong. In my mind, it is an objective issue, and your opinion is incorrect.

Timkin

October 26, 2012, 07:25:29 PM
Well... many may not like MM's food, but plenty DO , otherwise they would not be opening yet another location.   Their food is very good.   As to screaming kids , can't recall an eatery that did not have that from time to time, so nice try , but a moot point.

Heres the bottom line.   WLA  is afraid of the competition and how it will affect the existing businesses.   They are delusional in thinking that Mellow Mushroom operates as a nightclub.  That is outrageous and simply NOT true.  If they should not be allowed to serve alcohol , neither should any of the other establishments.

Broken record me still HATES that the service station has to be demolished, and even in doing so , WLA  is being a bunch of jerks and trying their level best any how and any way they possibly can  to keep this establishment out of Avondale.    IF  MM wanted to open a restaurant in my area , Id embrace it in a heartbeat.     Bunch of old codgers that want to ruin it for the majority.  Much of how Jacksonville operates and has for decades.  This is not going to ruin their property values or trash their yards, or do anything except NOT let them get their way.

If_I_Loved_you

October 26, 2012, 08:30:26 PM
Well... many may not like MM's food, but plenty DO , otherwise they would not be opening yet another location.   Their food is very good.   As to screaming kids , can't recall an eatery that did not have that from time to time, so nice try , but a moot point.

Heres the bottom line.   WLA  is afraid of the competition and how it will affect the existing businesses.   They are delusional in thinking that Mellow Mushroom operates as a nightclub.  That is outrageous and simply NOT true.  If they should not be allowed to serve alcohol , neither should any of the other establishments.

Broken record me still HATES that the service station has to be demolished, and even in doing so , WLA  is being a bunch of jerks and trying their level best any how and any way they possibly can  to keep this establishment out of Avondale.    IF  MM wanted to open a restaurant in my area , Id embrace it in a heartbeat.     Bunch of old codgers that want to ruin it for the majority.  Much of how Jacksonville operates and has for decades.  This is not going to ruin their property values or trash their yards, or do anything except NOT let them get their way.
The We love Avondale crowd don't want outsides to come to their overrated restaurants. Money is money and a good business owner mostly doesn't care who has it just as long as they spend it at their place of business. But the restaurants that seem to have a problem with Mellow Mushroom. The Brick, BlueFish and Biscotti's most likely will never be more then what they have in "Avondale?" Mellow Mushroom is a "Chain" just like Chili's, Applebee's, Olivegarden, and Outback. So I hope Mellow Mushroom doesn't give up the fight too bring it's Successful Chain Restaurant to The Shoppes of Avondale. Godspeed Mr.Valentino I look forward to Mellow Mushroom coming to Avondale in the near future.  8)

Ernest Street

October 26, 2012, 11:06:17 PM
In the past several years I have worked for folks just behind where MM will be established.
They believe they own the block behind there and HATE anyone trying to park there.
I think they should just keep calling JSO when someone parks on their "Public" curb outside their house..keep making an Ass out of yourself until you decide to move to Ortega or somewhere quieter.

This WLA behavior is called "Urban Redneck" behavior....don't you dare open up a competing business near me Boy...I just got my spread sheets into making a profit.
If you are guilty and reading this...how long will your family money last?
Let go and let us grow!......Just please move out to BFE and build your dream spread..and leave Riverside!

Intuition Ale Works

October 29, 2012, 02:01:43 PM

If Jim Love wanted to end this whole embarrassing episode he could.

TheFluffernutterFive

October 29, 2012, 02:16:55 PM
I live in Avondale & I'm all for Mellow Mushroom (along with wishing that they would be allowed to use the existing building). I have always had great service in their different locations & I love the decor.

That being said, I'm more familiar with the owners of businesses in Riverside as that's where I spend most of my time. Brick is just too expensive for what you get, Biscotti's is just not my speed, etc. I see another poster mentioned the businesses that they are never going to spend another dime in & also mentioned outing the other businesses that supported this appeal. I was able to determine the owner of Biscotti's is a supporter but am not sure how to determine which other business owner's are listed. Is anyone able to tell me which ones are represented on this appeal?

thelakelander

October 31, 2012, 01:01:31 AM
Planned Avondale restaurant heads for City Hall showdown because of parking

Quote
The neighborhood-based opposition to a Mellow Mushroom restaurant planned in the Shoppes of Avondale embodies half the restaurant’s name.

The objections are mushrooming — five neighborhood groups and homeowners appealed the Jacksonville Planning Commission’s approval of the restaurant, meaning the clash goes next to the City Council.

The fight is anything but mellow — those fighting the restaurant say it’s too big for the Shoppes of Avondale and will worsen a parking shortage that already forces patrons of other restaurants to cram onto nearby residential streets.

Beyond the battle over Mellow Mushroom, the showdown is highlighting the downside of the city’s push to attract commercial development into existing neighborhoods and curb suburban sprawl.

Full article: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-10-30/story/planned-avondale-restaurant-heads-city-hall-showdown-because-parking

cayohueso

October 31, 2012, 05:25:54 AM
I don't think the owners of The Fox, which closes around 3pm and doesn't serve pizza, are against Mellow Mushroom.

fieldafm

October 31, 2012, 06:40:19 AM
I don't think the owners of The Fox, which closes around 3pm and doesn't serve pizza, are against Mellow Mushroom.

Your assertion is not correct.  Ian has been very vocal against Mellow. 

ben says

October 31, 2012, 07:10:18 AM
What ever happened to mtrain? This MM bs get too much to defend?

If_I_Loved_you

October 31, 2012, 08:09:47 AM
What ever happened to mtrain? This MM bs get too much to defend?
mtraininjax last posted on September 27, 2012, 10:37:21 PM »
Riverside/Avondale / Re: Live Blogging Special Mellow Mushroom Planning Commission Meeting, Sept 27, 2012

It does seem weird that he hasn't posted in over a month I guess unlike a lot of us he has a life?

ChriswUfGator

October 31, 2012, 08:35:06 AM
Mtrain has a habit of quitting the site whenever we tell him something's not going to work, then to no one's surprise but his, it doesn't. He always comes back eventually, I wouldn't worry too much.

thelakelander

October 31, 2012, 11:40:07 PM
Planned Avondale restaurant heads for City Hall showdown because of parking

Quote
The neighborhood-based opposition to a Mellow Mushroom restaurant planned in the Shoppes of Avondale embodies half the restaurant’s name.

The objections are mushrooming — five neighborhood groups and homeowners appealed the Jacksonville Planning Commission’s approval of the restaurant, meaning the clash goes next to the City Council.

The fight is anything but mellow — those fighting the restaurant say it’s too big for the Shoppes of Avondale and will worsen a parking shortage that already forces patrons of other restaurants to cram onto nearby residential streets.

Beyond the battle over Mellow Mushroom, the showdown is highlighting the downside of the city’s push to attract commercial development into existing neighborhoods and curb suburban sprawl.

Full article: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-10-30/story/planned-avondale-restaurant-heads-city-hall-showdown-because-parking

The new member's only site is up and running now.  I just tried to read the TU comments in the article and got this:

http://members.jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-10-30/story/planned-avondale-restaurant-heads-city-hall-showdown-because-parking

Non-RedNeck Westsider

November 01, 2012, 07:47:19 AM
Lake,

I think it's time to do some Inbox cleaning...   :D

thelakelander

November 01, 2012, 08:00:19 AM
lol, I'm definitely overdue.

jaxjags

November 05, 2012, 09:43:04 PM
I sent the following email last week to James Love, and copied all city councilman:

Mr. Love,

I would like to express my opinion on the Mellow Mushroom Avondale zoning situation:

1.   First and foremost, this group has met all requirement for zoning, except parking although they have worked with all to provide more than originally proposed. This site is zoned for commercial and cannot be denied building a restaurant.
2.   They have modified the design several times to "meet the demands “ of RAP and WLA. Something they really did not need to do.
3.   All of the restaurants in Avondale have been given exemptions for parking and other requirements such as liquor sales and outdoor dining. MM SHOULD NOT BE SINGLED OUT.

One problem may be  that some of the members of these organizations own competing restaurants. How ironic that they have received exemptions, but do not believe MM should get them.

MM is not a bar. They have met zoning requirements. They are not asking for anything that has not been granted to others in the past. This should be approved.

Thanks,

I did get a personal response. He basically said:

1. He was aware of what I was saying

2. He has been working with both sides and the zoning committee in past

3. He is continuing to talk to both side for a successful resolution

4. The courts are the last alternative

I encourage others to send an email also supporting MM

ChriswUfGator

November 06, 2012, 06:55:09 AM
Well naturally he thinks the courts are the last alternative, since if it got to that he'd lose.

MEGATRON

November 06, 2012, 09:25:24 AM
Hopefully, those of you who support Mellow Mushroom will do what I do and refuse to dine any longer at Brick, Biscottis and Fox. 

Also, anyone who thinks Jim Love has not made up his mind already is delusional.  Make sure your emails are received by the other council members as well.

Finally, shame on RAP for not letting Mellow Mushroom representatives speak at RAP's regular meetings.  RAP has allowed Ian Chase, Tommy Donahoo, Alicia Grant, the Hollingsworths, Susan Frazier, and James Holt among others speak at its board meetings in opposition to Mellow Mushroom.  Its ridiculous that a group with such spineless leadership claims to speak for the neighborhood.

stephendare

November 06, 2012, 09:32:41 AM

Finally, shame on RAP for not letting Mellow Mushroom representatives speak at RAP's regular meetings.  RAP has allowed Ian Chase, Tommy Donahoo, Alicia Grant, the Hollingsworths, Susan Frazier, and James Holt among others speak at its board meetings in opposition to Mellow Mushroom.  Its ridiculous that a group with such spineless leadership claims to speak for the neighborhood.

and very bizarre for a group that claims to represent 'the neighborhood', I think.

They get special privileges and insider information on the basis of that status, btw.

Pinky

November 06, 2012, 11:18:56 AM
Hopefully, those of you who support Mellow Mushroom will do what I do and refuse to dine any longer at Brick, Biscottis and Fox. 

Also, anyone who thinks Jim Love has not made up his mind already is delusional.  Make sure your emails are received by the other council members as well.

Finally, shame on RAP for not letting Mellow Mushroom representatives speak at RAP's regular meetings.  RAP has allowed Ian Chase, Tommy Donahoo, Alicia Grant, the Hollingsworths, Susan Frazier, and James Holt among others speak at its board meetings in opposition to Mellow Mushroom.  Its ridiculous that a group with such spineless leadership claims to speak for the neighborhood.


Look kids, lets face it.  RAP is backed into a corner here...  The organization is clearly in decline and has been for years, both in terms of membership and prestige.  They don't even have the juice to confront this thing head-on, which is why they've resorted to allowing shills and proxy groups like WLA to do their dirty work.  Quite frankly, Carmen and Co find themselves having to kowtow to their own loony board and an ever more militant rump of their original membership.  Pretty much everybody has left except the crazies, forcing RAP to take this bizarre anti-business, anti-fairness, anti-fix-the-actual-issue (Avondale needs to think about parking) stand.  Once the reasonable people abandon ship, the wing nuts voices seem much louder. 

So clearly, when loons like Alicia Grant take over speaking for your organization, things have gotten way out of hand.  And, clearly, they're not interested in what Mellow Mushroom has to say, besides "Adios".  No invitation to speak?  Wow, surprise.

It's sad to watch a once useful group like RAP lose relevance; in better days they would have welcomed Mellow with open arms; I mean, look, it's 100% within legal compliance, replacing an existing restaurant in a long-established commercial district.  Mellow has made HUGE concessions out of nothing more than a desire to be cooperative and a Good Neighbor, and have provided 100% more parking than any other Avondale restaurant had to.  They will bring vibrancy and jobs, and back when RAP had actual juice and swagger, they would have openly advocated for this obvious benefit to Avondale.  If they still had any juice or vision the parking issues wouldn't have ever come up because RAP would have been working for years already with the city to fix Avondale Parking somehow. 

But no, they just became the Wavy Bench Glass Window Replacement Police along the way.  And now they've been dragged into deep water by a pack of local NIMBYS and scared potential competitors, and they're flailing.  Their answer to parking problems is shuttered, abandoned buildings.  And they wonder why membership is declining? This is most assuredly not RAP's finest hour, and the more they allow themselves to be swept along by the crazies, the more they lose the respect of the greater community.  It's sad too, because they could have easily avoided taking either group head-on by just coming at both from a "Fix The Parking Angle".  But no, they flinched when the WLA dogs barked, and just fell into line.  Again, more proof that RAP is, and because of their misguided actions will continue to be, in decline.  They had an opportunity for a win/win, but chose to go to the mat in a match that they now literally cannot afford to lose. 

Build a parking deck where RAP's offices are located; it would benefit Avondale a hell of a lot more than it's current use.


Spence

November 18, 2012, 03:35:04 AM
I am guessing the northern most stretch of SR21 would be a place where many would jump at the chance to WELCOME a MELLOWMUSHROOM!
between Pomade & Tonic, Lakeshore Produce, Jazzercise, Pink Flamingo, Treasure Chest, Earth Gifts, Stars Caribbean, Puerto Plata, Discount Music at Saint Johns...

still close to home for Mr.Valentino, and his fine establishment would boost a neighborhood in need which has been served a cold shoulder in the past.

Lake Shore in the "Marina Mile" east AND west of Vista still needs more of those "THIRD PLACES" where neighbors and community stake holders become friends and allies for economic growth, cultural diversity and positive change
 

thelakelander

November 18, 2012, 08:22:16 AM
I believe he has already purchased the Avondale site.

Intuition Ale Works

November 20, 2012, 02:44:36 PM

The appeals will be heard on January 5th, a Saturday.

The LUZ committee is going to have fun that day!!

MEGATRON

November 20, 2012, 02:47:26 PM

Captain Zissou

November 20, 2012, 03:00:05 PM

The appeals will be heard on January 5th, a Saturday.

The LUZ committee is going to have fun that day!!

Saturday?  Are they going to have the meeting at the arena??  We're going to need a lot of room.  I hope the RPC shows up in force.

Ben, ever thought about making a Rowdy Red Ale to be the official beer of the RPC?

Intuition Ale Works

November 20, 2012, 03:04:06 PM

Avondale bitter...

Tacachale

November 20, 2012, 03:24:35 PM

The appeals will be heard on January 5th, a Saturday.

The LUZ committee is going to have fun that day!!

Saturday?  Are they going to have the meeting at the arena??  We're going to need a lot of room.  I hope the RPC shows up in force.

Ben, ever thought about making a Rowdy Red Ale to be the official beer of the RPC?

LOVE IT.

Timkin

November 21, 2012, 12:25:09 AM
What ever happened to mtrain? This MM bs get too much to defend?
mtraininjax last posted on September 27, 2012, 10:37:21 PM »
Riverside/Avondale / Re: Live Blogging Special Mellow Mushroom Planning Commission Meeting, Sept 27, 2012

It does seem weird that he hasn't posted in over a month I guess unlike a lot of us he has a life?


HEY!!!  I resent that !       ;)  ;)

If_I_Loved_you

November 21, 2012, 09:13:31 AM
What ever happened to mtrain? This MM bs get too much to defend?
mtraininjax last posted on September 27, 2012, 10:37:21 PM »
Riverside/Avondale / Re: Live Blogging Special Mellow Mushroom Planning Commission Meeting, Sept 27, 2012

It does seem weird that he hasn't posted in over a month I guess unlike a lot of us he has a life?


HEY!!!  I resent that !       ;)  ;)
Sorry about that I was fishing and got carried away? ;)

Captain Zissou

January 03, 2013, 09:05:53 AM
Is the next meeting still set for this Saturday.  Unfortunately a last minute event will cause me to be out of town this weekend, but I will be checking in often on the meeting.

KEGreene1

January 04, 2013, 02:02:44 PM
Looks like the LUZ meeting is still on for tomorrow morning at 10:00 am.  You know that WLA will have their folks out in force.  Please come out and show the committee that just because they scream the loudest, doesn't make them right.  I've been very disappointed in the tactics they have used and hope this is a productive meeting.  If nothing else, you will be entertained by some of their TALL Tales.

fieldafm

January 04, 2013, 03:11:07 PM
It appears tomorrow's LUZ hearing will be a formality regarding previously agreed upon conditions by all parties involved.

Considering the nature of past tactics, it wouldn't be surprising if certain appelants do something weird... but the expectation is otherwise. 

Gators312

January 04, 2013, 03:22:30 PM
It appears tomorrow's LUZ hearing will be a formality regarding previously agreed upon conditions by all parties involved.

Considering the nature of past tactics, it wouldn't be surprising if certain appelants do something weird... but the expectation is otherwise.

Do we have a summary of what was agreed upon.  I tried searching the site, but with so many threads on the topic I can't seem to find it.

fieldafm

January 04, 2013, 03:24:57 PM
I think they will be on the staff report introduced tomorrow and then the individual conditions will be introduced into record during the hearing and subsequently voted on.  At least as is my understanding. 

thelakelander

January 04, 2013, 03:38:03 PM
Glad to hear that this may be coming down to an end and that Mellow Mushroom will finally be allowed to move forward.  I'll have to try and pop into LUZ and see what the agreed upon conditions end up being.

KEGreene1

January 04, 2013, 04:23:44 PM
As someone already said, this group has been known to pull some shennanigans.  Better to be prepared.

JaxDiablo

January 04, 2013, 05:35:03 PM
Anyone have a specific flavor of popcorn they want brought for this event?

I'm hoping I get up early enough to check this thing out.  It will be awesome to see what WLA tries to pull.

If_I_Loved_you

January 05, 2013, 10:10:00 AM
Watch video here http://www.coj.net/city-council.aspx Viewing City Council Meeting/In Session Meeting Online

Lucasjj

January 05, 2013, 10:28:53 AM
Could really use a live blog now to make this meeting more exciting.

Just an update, all appeals have been dropped. All the parties have reached an agreement. There is a long list of all the agreements that they haven't yet detailed.

23 conditions in total.

Lucasjj

January 05, 2013, 10:34:09 AM
Outside service space in on st john has been limited to smaller area.

Knee wall on st johns windows to create separation and not allow windows to open to create flowing space into the outside.

10pm closing of outside service on st johns,  9PM on Ingleside

thelakelander

January 05, 2013, 10:37:55 AM
Alcohol sales allowed on sidewalk but the outdoor access will only be allowed by entering from inside the restaurant.

Lucasjj

January 05, 2013, 10:40:41 AM
Not sure if this is service size or total size, but 7300 sq feet inside, 1800 sq feet outside

Some windows can be open till 12

Cannot have occupancy outside after 10 and 9 PM, not. Just service


thelakelander

January 05, 2013, 10:41:17 AM
MM can't use the rear of the building for special events.

Lucasjj

January 05, 2013, 10:44:24 AM
Occupancy is 204, and 14 employees not to exceed 20

40 of the 204 seats outside

Lucasjj

January 05, 2013, 10:54:51 AM
Council member Schellenberg seemed perplex that mellow has a requirement for security, asking whether any other establishment in the area had that requirement.

thelakelander

January 05, 2013, 10:57:03 AM
Mellow just wants to move forward.  They are asking the council to approve all conditions (although it would be argued that some are over the top) as is.

acme54321

January 05, 2013, 11:00:58 AM
Do any other restaurants have the same stipulations that they cannot serve outside after 10??

thelakelander

January 05, 2013, 11:03:03 AM
Not sure.  Most likely not.  It seems like Mellow just wants to move forward so they can open this year.

Lucasjj

January 05, 2013, 11:06:43 AM
FYI Mellow Mushroom's logo is a guy with a beer belley on his back. At least that is what I was just told.

thelakelander

January 05, 2013, 11:10:21 AM
just got a little heated....Mellow didn't like that characterization.

Lucasjj

January 05, 2013, 11:16:43 AM
The other appeallants have been reasonable when they are speaking. The WLA guy with his logo and establishment characterization sounds like a bufoon and really discredits his stance.

If_I_Loved_you

January 05, 2013, 11:31:01 AM
The other appeallants have been reasonable when they are speaking. The WLA guy with his logo and establishment characterization sounds like a bufoon and really discredits his stance.
That person really doesn't want Mellow Mushroom in Avondale.

Lucasjj

January 05, 2013, 11:34:30 AM
"Mojo's #4 was the tipping point. It brought parking problems, more trash, and condoms..."

Because nothing finishes good BarBQ like sex.

thelakelander

January 05, 2013, 11:35:30 AM
Yeah, for some reason I never knew condoms and BBQ went together.

Wow. Comparing the future of Avondale to pythons in the Everglades, nice.

If_I_Loved_you

January 05, 2013, 11:35:52 AM
The last speaker started to say something about Python's in the Everglades then was cut off?

If_I_Loved_you

January 05, 2013, 11:36:38 AM
"Mojo's #4 was the tipping point. It brought parking problems, more trash, and condoms..."

Because nothing finishes good BarBQ like sex.
LOL!

Lucasjj

January 05, 2013, 12:02:21 PM
Everyone is accepting of the agreement. The talks are mostly asking the committee to make plans for the future. Unless some changes that the committee pushes opens up the agreement for more negotiating and cuases problems, this appears to be settled.

Pinky

January 05, 2013, 12:45:37 PM
Well, we're in recess now that the public hearing portion is finished..  A few observations:

- My personal favorite moment was George Gabels dramatic presentation of a Mellow Mushroom Beer Koozie that he claims to have found "on the ground while strolling through Boone Park".   Utter bullshit.

- The WLA folks need to learn how to behave in Council Chambers.  Their inappropriate applause, heckling and generally boorish behavior only serve to discredit their ranks. 

- I really feel for the Avondale residents who've been sold a bill of goods on what Mellow Mushroom is.  These folks are going to be so relieved when the Pizza Hell Nightclub And Palace Of Fornication fails to actually materialize.  It's a PIZZA RESTAURANT YOU IDIOTS.

thelakelander

January 05, 2013, 12:45:58 PM
Meeting over. Mellow Mushroom is approved by the LUZ.

If_I_Loved_you

January 05, 2013, 12:47:55 PM
Meeting over. Mellow Mushroom is approved by the LUZ.
So is it time to remove the old garage and start building?

sheclown

January 05, 2013, 12:48:41 PM
geez.

funwithteeth

January 05, 2013, 01:20:15 PM
Had no idea Mojo was a great place to get some action. Why didn't anyone tell me sooner?

ChriswUfGator

January 05, 2013, 01:24:30 PM
I still can't believe Mellow bothered negotiating this, they would have had a clean sweep.

thelakelander

January 05, 2013, 01:50:52 PM
Had no idea Mojo was a great place to get some action. Why didn't anyone tell me sooner?

I feel deprived.  I was under the impression it was a great place to score with a plate of smoked brisket. Next time, I'll ask for reserved seating in the special boom boom room.

tufsu1

January 05, 2013, 06:56:16 PM
Mrs. Lakelander might not be very happy!

MEGATRON

January 06, 2013, 01:28:40 PM
Be right back, headed to Mojos to get laid.

RockStar

January 06, 2013, 01:44:31 PM
New Mojo's advertising campaign:
"The meat getting smoked might just be yours!"

Timkin

January 06, 2013, 08:29:37 PM
:o

thelakelander

January 07, 2013, 12:27:32 AM
Here is the TU's story:

Quote
A neighborhood group fighting Mellow Mushroom’s planned restaurant in the Shoppes of Avondale dropped its opposition after a settlement agreement scaled back the number of seats at the restaurant.
The Jacksonville City Council could vote Tuesday on the new requirements for the restaurant — the latest addition to the popular Shoppes destination where a shortage of parking has fueled complaints about spillover parking on nearby residential streets.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2013-01-06/story/mellow-mushroom-plans-avondale-move-forward-after-restaurant-opposition

cline

January 07, 2013, 09:06:48 AM
What's the over/under on how many times the WLA group calls in frivolous code violations on MM during its first week of operation?

mbwright

January 07, 2013, 10:11:43 AM
What is being applied to MM should also apply to all of the existing businesses, with regards to time of operation, and when and where they can sit, drink, eat, park, etc.  This is so unfair.  It also makes WLA win, which is the worst part.

tufsu1

January 07, 2013, 10:27:17 AM
What is being applied to MM should also apply to all of the existing businesses, with regards to time of operation, and when and where they can sit, drink, eat, park, etc.  This is so unfair.  It also makes WLA win, which is the worst part.

it was a solution agreed to by all parties....many businesses have to negotiate with neighborhood groups when moving into areas....now maybe some of the tactics used weren't appropriate, but I would hardly characterize the outcome as unfair.

thelakelander

January 07, 2013, 10:32:35 AM
MM agreed to these conditions so now it's time to move on and enjoy some pizza......... after the orgy at Mojo's. ;D

stephendare

January 07, 2013, 10:48:27 AM
What is being applied to MM should also apply to all of the existing businesses, with regards to time of operation, and when and where they can sit, drink, eat, park, etc.  This is so unfair.  It also makes WLA win, which is the worst part.

it was a solution agreed to by all parties....many businesses have to negotiate with neighborhood groups when moving into areas....now maybe some of the tactics used weren't appropriate, but I would hardly characterize the outcome as unfair.

I have no qualms characterizing it as unfair.

WLA didnt win though.  They were after pissing on that property and showing the rest of the community that they owned it regardless of whose name was on the deed.

They didnt want MM to open up at all, and they created a huge public relations nightmare for the residents group.

Plus of course the damage that they did to the merchants during the only vibrant shopping season of this past year.

It also got made very clear to them that the outcome was based on John Valentino wanting to accommodate them, not any basis in the law.

cline

January 07, 2013, 10:55:04 AM
MM agreed to these conditions so now it's time to move on and enjoy some pizza......... after the orgy at Mojo's. ;D

Well since MM is being forced to stop serving outside early, maybe it should be pizza first and then orgy at Mojo's. 

Gators312

January 07, 2013, 01:22:14 PM
I saw WJXT out there interviewing John Valentino today around 10:30am.

mbwright

January 07, 2013, 01:36:38 PM
Just because parties agree, does not mean they are both happy with the outcome.  I do think it is great that John is now able to move forward.

strider

January 07, 2013, 06:48:06 PM
Quote
" We feel like we got as fair a deal as we could,” said Alicia Grant, who helped found We Love Avondale. " We still feel it's an inappropriate development for the neighborhood. It certainly doesn't fit in with the character of the other shops and restaurants. But we got the best we could get.”

And:

Quote
Grant said the effectiveness of the agreement will depend on the restaurant following the terms so residents don't have to play code enforcement.”

Those are a couple of scary statements.  It means this is not over for Mellow Mushroom.  And that is what happens when you try to compromise with the likes of those who founded WLA.  Once you give them a inch, they smell blood and it (the harassment) might never stop.  Frankly, while I get it that MM hoped to have an easier time in the community by making the consessions, it really made no difference in the end.  It would have been better never to have given anything and fight for what they originally wanted, which, by the way, was legal and fair to start with.  The few they would have pissed off are the same ones who are pissed off still and never would have been real customers to start with.  Perhaps next time .... like if they try to open one in Springfield .... they will remember that.

Timkin

January 12, 2013, 05:45:43 PM
Geez.  You would think that the neighborhood was getting a house of ill repute, the way this organization is putting up such a stink about this.    It is annoying and disheartening that they are so hell-bent on opposing Mellow Mushroom. Grow up, WLA!   You're acting like a group of 6 year olds that are not getting their way  >:(

rjr120

January 12, 2013, 09:18:55 PM
I, for one, can't wait to bring my business to MM when it finally opens.  It will give me a reason to bike into to Avondale more often!

Timkin

January 13, 2013, 02:27:37 AM
+1.  It would be the first business I patronize in Avondale.   Love me some Mellow!   Boo Hiss , WLA   >:(

thelakelander

June 07, 2013, 10:13:37 AM
Mellow Mushroom construction pending in Avondale

Quote
by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

After more than a year of plans and negotiations, Mellow Mushroom is preparing to build its proposed Avondale restaurant in Jacksonville at 3601 St. Johns Ave.
The City is reviewing plans for the project to include site work, a "ground-up" building and interior build-out at a project cost of $1.4 million.

The seat count is limited to 204 seats "per City requirement," according to the documents.

Tenant Contractors Inc. is the contractor and Design Cooperative LLC is the architect.

full article: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=539685

Overstreet

June 07, 2013, 04:28:47 PM
What will happen is that MM will open up and it won't be a problem. Then the dust will settle.

I am reminded of a HOA that protested a church school going in across the road. Their fears of crime, noise and traffic were unfounded. They later started having their meetings in the church meeting room.

fieldafm

June 07, 2013, 04:38:16 PM
What will happen is that MM will open up and it won't be a problem. Then the dust will settle.

I am reminded of a HOA that protested a church school going in across the road. Their fears of crime, noise and traffic were unfounded. They later started having their meetings in the church meeting room.

Just like all the people that opposed Black Sheep that now spend 2-3 days a week there  ;)

grimss

June 07, 2013, 09:52:48 PM
What will happen is that MM will open up and it won't be a problem. Then the dust will settle.

I am reminded of a HOA that protested a church school going in across the road. Their fears of crime, noise and traffic were unfounded. They later started having their meetings in the church meeting room.

Just like all the people that opposed Black Sheep that now spend 2-3 days a week there  ;)

:) :)

nighthawksjax

June 11, 2013, 11:50:00 AM
I honestly don't know what the big fuss is about. If Valentino had proposed to take Fuel, we would have welcomed it. It's not like the Avondale strip popped up around these houses overnight. You CHOSE to move next to it. You CHOSE to live in the area. If you are so bent on living in an urban setting, move to middleburg or Lake city.

JayBird

June 11, 2013, 11:56:07 AM
I honestly don't know what the big fuss is about. If Valentino had proposed to take Fuel, we would have welcomed it. It's not like the Avondale strip popped up around these houses overnight. You CHOSE to move next to it. You CHOSE to live in the area. If you are so bent on living in an urban setting, move to middleburg or Lake city.
+1000 agree with you completely ... and I think that every town in every county in every state has this same issue. People move next to airport and complain about safety, next to a school and complain about idling buses, next to a nightclub and complain about noise. Bottom line, some people love to complain while others do not like change. Build it, dust settles, still happy community.

Cheshire Cat

June 18, 2013, 04:44:29 PM
My sister was talking today with the man who will be managing the new Mellow Mushroom in Avondale.  The restaurant has a target date to be open by Thanksgiving.  :)

Intuition Ale Works

June 24, 2013, 09:17:09 PM

Fences are up and around the old gas station...

cline

June 25, 2013, 07:57:51 AM
^I also saw a surveyor on the site a couple of weeks ago.  Hopefully some dirt will start moving soon.

Captain Zissou

June 25, 2013, 09:58:50 AM
^I also saw a surveyor on the site a couple of weeks ago.  Hopefully some dirt will start moving soon.

That surveyor is taking up more parking in an area that already has a limited supply!! I object!!!

Non-RedNeck Westsider

July 16, 2014, 09:38:50 PM
I kind of figured with all of the Mellow threads, this one might be the most appropriate...



I don't know if WE (still) LOVE AVONDALE, but I sure as hell do.  ;D
View forum thread
Welcome Guest. You must be logged in to comment on this story.

What are the benefits of having a MetroJacksonville.com account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on stories that interest you.
  • Stay up to date on all of the latest issues affecting your neighborhood.
  • Create a network of friends working towards a better Jacksonville.
Register now
Already have an account? Login now to comment.