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Why I'm Supporting Mellow Mushroom in Avondale

Riverside's Intuition Ale Works owner and Avondale resident, Ben Davis, shares reasons behind his support for a fellow Avondale resident being able to open a Mellow Mushroom restaurant on St. Johns Avenue and encourages others to do the same.

Published September 25, 2012 in Opinion      116 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature

I am writing to you in regards to the proposed Mellow Mushroom in the Shoppes of Avondale.
 
I am deeply concerned by the way Mellow Mushroom has been treated by anti-business groups in our neighborhood. They have done and will continue to do everything in their power to prevent Mellow Mushroom from opening.
 
A politically connected vocal minority called “We Love Avondale, LLC” and Riverside Avondale Preservation have worked together to delay this project with hopes of making it go away. They have lobbied our City Council to pass anti-business legislation and spread lies about Mellow Mushroom and it's intended operation.
 
I believe that a Mellow Mushroom in Avondale is a great project for the neighborhood.They will be removing an eyesore by building on a vacant lot. They will be providing jobs during bad economic times. They will create another dining option for my family.
 
As an Avondale resident, I look forward to the day that I can walk down to the Mellow Mushroom with my family. My boys love Mellow Mushroom and all parents know how important family friendly dining options.
 
This Thursday there is a Planning Commission meeting at 5pm at City Hall. I hope you can attend and speak in support of Mellow Mushroom Avondale.
 
This Planning Commission Meeting has been called because Mellow Mushroom is seeking an administrative deviation for outside sales and service of alcohol.
 
Mellow Mushroom Avondale is not seeking any special treatment. They want to be treated like the other existing restaurants in Avondale that have received the same deviation.
 
We all have busy lives and some are hesitant to get involved in city politics.I never considered getting involved until I saw the treatment multiple small businesses have received at the hands of RAP and other neighborhood busy bodies. I have also experienced it as a homeowner and now a business owner.

We cannot continue to allow a select few to determine what businesses can open in our neighborhood.
 
Please come to the Planning Commission meeting on Thursday. At a minimum fill out a speaker’s card and express your support for Mellow Mushroom Avondale. You do not have to speak. You can hand in your speakers card as a show of support.

I have also attached a Mellow Mushroom info sheet in PDF form that should be of use.

Hope to see you on Thursday!













Editorial by Ben Davis







116 Comments

johnny_simpatico

September 25, 2012, 09:02:09 AM
I agree 100%.  The power of the NIMBY brigades from RAP, their puppet, Jim Love, and other pressure groups could have been offset by some leadership on the issue from the Brown administration.  For example, the specious arguments about parking and lack of access for emergency vehicles could have been addressed by (properly) restricting parking to one side of narrow streets and ticketing illegally parked vehicles.

Lucasjj

September 25, 2012, 09:46:23 AM
I have a board meeting at 6 that night that I have to attend, but I will come down and at least fill out a card. I have stayed out of this discussion, but have thouroughly read the threads regarding this. It is ridiculous that this has gone on this long and taken this much effort. The fact that an adaptive reuse was turned down by a preservation group really speaks to the absurdity of this situation.

We need to encourage infill in this city, we need to encourage reuse, and we need to encourage businesses that contribute to active streets and pedestrian friendly environments.

jaxjags

September 25, 2012, 10:59:16 AM
We need to support change. Without change there is no progress. Without progess there is no improvement.

Tacachale

September 25, 2012, 12:58:45 PM
Well stated Ben. This really gives the lie to "Rowdy Pizza Crowd" fears.

zedsdead

September 25, 2012, 01:19:05 PM
The problem is we have allowed the creation of an highly unattractive business environment in Riverside - one that is social (e.g. We Love Avondale, RAP) and legal (Councilman Love's ordinance). This will deter investors for YEARS to come. That means empty buildings, derelict lots, lower tax revenues and unemployed locals. It makes me sick.

Captain Zissou

September 25, 2012, 01:20:10 PM
All Mellow wants is the same treatment that other restaurants are getting on the strip.  However, unlike those other restaurants, Mellow is trying to make the neighborhood better by considering alternative parking methods, green space, adaptive reuse, and general concern for the neighborhood's problems.  I hope Thursday night goes well and that the community shows up in force to support Mellow.

martybjaguars

September 25, 2012, 02:08:10 PM
It is nice to hear a clear, rational discussion of the facts. Thank you for voicing the understated opinion of the majority. Thank you, sir.

TallGirl

September 25, 2012, 04:09:36 PM
As a neighboring small business owner, I agree with zedsdead's comment.  This bullying will certainly deter future growth and development as well as make existing businesses, who are feeling bullied, reconsider renewing existing leases.  this will eventual lead to the demise of a great neighborhood.  I love Avondale and I love Mellow Mushroom, why can't we all love both?

zedsdead

September 25, 2012, 04:28:54 PM
^ Thanks  ;D Just for my information, why are EXISTING businesses in the Shoppes of Avondale feeling  bullied?

RockStar

September 25, 2012, 08:21:11 PM
I don't know. There's gotta be some conflict of interest here...I mean a beer guy supporting a pizza place? Sounds fishy... ;)

KEGreene1

September 26, 2012, 09:26:37 AM
Well said Ben. 

Captain Zissou

September 26, 2012, 09:35:29 AM
Last night I had a dream about the planning commission meeting. Is that weird??

In my opinion, MM is more in direct competition with Ben's taproom than with bluefish.  On a friday or saturday night, I'm not going to drop $60 on a seafood dinner, but I would be deciding between grabbing a snack and some beers at MM or going to Intuition to play cornhole in the brewery bar.  For me personally, the two are more of substitutes for eachother than Blue fish is for either one.  There is a demographic that would feel the same way, but also there is a large group who will never go to the taproom at IAW, but they would choose between the two Avondale restaurants for their sunday dinner.  Also, I know that IAW distributes kegs to hundreds of restaurants in the area and that this doesn't represent their sole income stream, but last year their tap room operations were a significant portion of their total revenue.

All this is to say that Ben is supporting someone who is, at least in part, in competition with him.  Ben is doing this because he is confident in his own product so that he can put improving his neighborhood and his city above petty squabbles between competitors.  Thanks for what you do, Ben.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

September 26, 2012, 09:53:34 AM
from FB:

Quote
Friends and Neighbors,
...
There will be a meeting regarding the Mellow Mushroom In Avondale at 5pm City Hall in the Council Chambers. This meeting is the final vote for the project by the Jacksonville City Planning Commission. This meeting has been set for this project only so there will be no other items discussed. The planning commission staff will report to the commission their findings based on our request for an exception for outside sales and service of alcohol in Avondale. This is an exception every restaurant must apply for in order to sell liquor in Avondale.

We are not asking the city and or the commission for any special circumstances or deviations outside of the current laws and codes that were enacted during the time of our application. We have requested the exact number of seats that our parking will provide. Over the course of the last 5 months we have accepted and modified nearly every request provided by RAP and or the neighborhood organization [We Love Avondale LLC].

Last week we received our Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historical Commission related to exterior building design requirements. So this is the final meeting related to this project.
It has been our intent all along to manage this process in an honorable and amicable fashion. I am confident we have honored this commitment.

It is most unfortunate that the project now involves the demolition of the existing gas station. I was very excited about the opportunity to do an adaptive reuse project.

However, in support of those that requested we modify our plans we have chosen to do so instead of getting involved in a long legal battle.

I hope everyone that can attend will be able to speak in their support of me and the project. If not please feel free to fill out a green card provided in the chamber and notify the commission that you support a Mellow Mushroom in Avondale. If you would like to speak please feel free to contact Simon Keymer copied [just comment on this post and Simon will reach out to you] for more information. Also, if acceptable please forward on ["Share"] this message to anyone you know may be interested in attending the meeting.

Regards,

John Valentino
Owner Mellow Mushroom
Jacksonville, Florida

dougskiles

September 26, 2012, 10:04:48 AM
^Is that today?

The reason I ask is that the Context Sensitive Streets committee meets in Council Chambers at 4 pm.  If you are planning on coming to the Mellow Mushroom meeting, consider coming early to catch the discussion about Context Sensitive Streets (and an opportunity to express an opinion about the Mobility Plan).

riverside planner

September 26, 2012, 10:11:41 AM
Doug, Mellow Mushroom will be on tomorrow's Planning Commission meeting agenda, which begins at 1pm.  Agenda can be found here: http://www.coj.net/departments/planning-and-development/docs/current-planning-division/planning-commission-docs/2012-pc-agendas/2012-proposed-agenda/9-27-12---final-agenda.aspx

Captain Zissou

September 26, 2012, 10:36:41 AM
So is the meeting at 5 or 1?

stephendare

September 26, 2012, 05:24:09 PM


Just a helpful reminder from those asps at We Love Avondale that tomorrow the planning commission is meeting on the subject of Mellow Mushrooms (three times altered to suit RAP) new development in Avondale.

If_I_Loved_you

September 26, 2012, 05:51:16 PM


Just a helpful reminder from those asps at We Love Avondale that tomorrow the planning commission is meeting on the subject of Mellow Mushrooms (three times altered to suit RAP) new development in Avondale.
wasp
"White anglo-saxon protestant. this usually refers to affluent people in the Avondale / Riverside area, but also whites of "old money" in other areas throughout the country."

Pinky

September 26, 2012, 10:29:50 PM


Just a helpful reminder from those asps at We Love Avondale that tomorrow the planning commission is meeting on the subject of Mellow Mushrooms (three times altered to suit RAP) new development in Avondale.
wasp
"White anglo-saxon protestant. this usually refers to affluent people in the Avondale / Riverside area, but also whites of "old money" in other areas throughout the country."

I think he meant "asps", a type of snake..

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asp_(reptile)

Because of course we all know that Jacksonville is not run by the WASPS; down here it would be the MOB (Minority-Opposed Baptists) or in Avondale its CAMEs (Competition-Avoidant Merchant Episcopalians). 

mtraininjax

September 26, 2012, 11:08:28 PM
Stephen,

I took the signs from the Grace Baptist Chruch from their "public right of way" and placed them in Jim Love's yard. Seems only fitting after the rant that Littlepage had in the TU about illegal SNIPE SIGNS. (And everyone thinks I am with WLA, f'in idiots!)

Quote
All Mellow wants is the same treatment that other restaurants are getting on the strip.  However, unlike those other restaurants, Mellow is trying to make the neighborhood better by considering alternative parking methods, green space, adaptive reuse, and general concern for the neighborhood's problems.  I hope Thursday night goes well and that the community shows up in force to support Mellow.

CZ, this is complete and UTTER bullshit. You know it and I know it, what Mellow wants to build is something larger and grandeur than what Mojo's got away with. Mojo's took a furniture store and shoe store and turned it into a bar/restaurant. John wants to expand an existing restaurant/shoe store. You think people want to question his motives????????

People, the signs up in Avondale are there from WLA and are illegal as hell. Take them and burn them, burn them all!

thelakelander

September 26, 2012, 11:40:50 PM
What's wrong with Mojo's building?  Did they construct something the code didn't allow?  The same goes for Mellow.  Is there some hidden law on the books that restricts a pizza restaurant from opening?  Does this regulation come with size requirements?  If not, what's the guy doing wrong?  It's not like he's trying to squeeze a Walmart in there.

If_I_Loved_you

September 26, 2012, 11:58:10 PM
Stephen,

I took the signs from the Grace Baptist Chruch from their "public right of way" and placed them in Jim Love's yard. Seems only fitting after the rant that Littlepage had in the TU about illegal SNIPE SIGNS. (And everyone thinks I am with WLA, f'in idiots!)

Quote
All Mellow wants is the same treatment that other restaurants are getting on the strip.  However, unlike those other restaurants, Mellow is trying to make the neighborhood better by considering alternative parking methods, green space, adaptive reuse, and general concern for the neighborhood's problems.  I hope Thursday night goes well and that the community shows up in force to support Mellow.

CZ, this is complete and UTTER bullshit. You know it and I know it, what Mellow wants to build is something larger and grandeur than what Mojo's got away with. Mojo's took a furniture store and shoe store and turned it into a bar/restaurant. John wants to expand an existing restaurant/shoe store. You think people want to question his motives????????

People, the signs up in Avondale are there from WLA and are illegal as hell. Take them and burn them, burn them all!
Jack ok you may not be with we love Avondale group but you sure have a HUGE problem with Mellow Mushroom why is that? I think it's really funny that lakelander said "It's not like he's trying to squeeze a Walmart in there." Besides Jack the new restaurant Mellow Mushroom wants to build brings back the old look to Avondale.  In closing the attitude you have is why Jacksonville in general never really seems to move forward.  ::)

Timkin

September 27, 2012, 12:46:48 AM
I just hate that the gas station now has to be demoed.   Id rather it had been altered to be a restaurant.  Now it has to go in a modern stucco wonder. 

Forgive me , but I am at a loss for why the Station MUST be demolished.  makes no sense whatsoever.

Overstreet

September 27, 2012, 07:19:31 AM
The last Mello Mushroom I visited was in Midtown Atlanta next to my mail box store.  It would have fit in that area  just fine.

Pinky

September 27, 2012, 07:42:28 AM
I just hate that the gas station now has to be demoed.   Id rather it had been altered to be a restaurant.  Now it has to go in a modern stucco wonder. 

Forgive me , but I am at a loss for why the Station MUST be demolished.  makes no sense whatsoever.

Agreed; it sucks.  The problem in a nutshell is that since it was built in '64 it's not a Contributing Structure by city standards and therefore wouldn't be eligible for the parking waiver.  There was a plan on the table that provided all but (I think) 3 of the required spots and kept the gas station intact, but WLA and RAP opposed it.

Crazy.

strider

September 27, 2012, 08:31:55 AM
Looking at a basic time line, sometime in the twenties, a brick 2 story building was built on this lot.  Then in the early fifties, that building was torn down for a simple gas station.  Then in the early sixties, that gas station was torn down for a fancy one.  Now, fifty odd years later, that gas station will be torn down to construct a building that sort of looks like the earlier twenties building.

I think there are several things wrong illustrated here.  The first is the failure to recognize that newer buildings can and often do have a significant historic value above just being an old building needing work anyway.  I think this will be seen more and more in the next few years. 

The second thing is that if we are going to lose a historically significant building for any reason, what is built in it's place should reflect current innovative design rather that try to simulate some older style.  Many other historic areas of the country have recognized this, perhaps someday we will too.

The last thing is that organizations like RAP should not have any say in the use as this gas station is coming down not because the owner of the property wanted it gone, but because RAP ( and others) got involved in things it should not be and is forcing an owner to do their bidding rather than what is actually best for the community.

Captain Zissou

September 27, 2012, 09:54:44 AM
Quote
All Mellow wants is the same treatment that other restaurants are getting on the strip.  However, unlike those other restaurants, Mellow is trying to make the neighborhood better by considering alternative parking methods, green space, adaptive reuse, and general concern for the neighborhood's problems.  I hope Thursday night goes well and that the community shows up in force to support Mellow.
CZ, this is complete and UTTER bullshit. You know it and I know it, what Mellow wants to build is something larger and grandeur than what Mojo's got away with. Mojo's took a furniture store and shoe store and turned it into a bar/restaurant. John wants to expand an existing restaurant/shoe store. You think people want to question his motives????????

So you think it's not fair that they have a nice building?  Do you realize what country you live in?  If MM can afford to build it, they are allowed to build it.  The only limiting factor is that they need approval from the planning commission and the planning commission can't dictate how nice something can be.  Your poorly veiled attempts to malign MM in order to promote Blue Fish are obvious and pathetic.  If you want government dictated 'fairness', go to N Korea.  If Frank is jealous that MM will be newer and nicer than his place, tell him to pony up the cash.  John isn't getting a new restaurant for free; he is forking over tons of cash to make it happen.  Nobody is preventing Frank from doing the same, except for Frank.  I am amazed at how quickly you have eroded your credibility on this site in the last couple months.

If_I_Loved_you

September 27, 2012, 10:26:52 AM
Quote
All Mellow wants is the same treatment that other restaurants are getting on the strip.  However, unlike those other restaurants, Mellow is trying to make the neighborhood better by considering alternative parking methods, green space, adaptive reuse, and general concern for the neighborhood's problems.  I hope Thursday night goes well and that the community shows up in force to support Mellow.
CZ, this is complete and UTTER bullshit. You know it and I know it, what Mellow wants to build is something larger and grandeur than what Mojo's got away with. Mojo's took a furniture store and shoe store and turned it into a bar/restaurant. John wants to expand an existing restaurant/shoe store. You think people want to question his motives????????

People, the signs up in Avondale are there from WLA and are illegal as hell. Take them and burn them, burn them all!
Stephen,

I took the signs from the Grace Baptist Chruch from their "public right of way" and placed them in Jim Love's yard. Seems only fitting after the rant that Littlepage had in the TU about illegal SNIPE SIGNS. (And everyone thinks I am with WLA, f'in idiots!)

Quote
All Mellow wants is the same treatment that other restaurants are getting on the strip.  However, unlike those other restaurants, Mellow is trying to make the neighborhood better by considering alternative parking methods, green space, adaptive reuse, and general concern for the neighborhood's problems.  I hope Thursday night goes well and that the community shows up in force to support Mellow.

CZ, this is complete and UTTER bullshit. You know it and I know it, what Mellow wants to build is something larger and grandeur than what Mojo's got away with. Mojo's took a furniture store and shoe store and turned it into a bar/restaurant. John wants to expand an existing restaurant/shoe store. You think people want to question his motives????????

So you think it's not fair that they have a nice building?  Do you realize what country you live in?  If MM can afford to build it, they are allowed to build it.  The only limiting factor is that they need approval from the planning commission and the planning commission can't dictate how nice something can be.  Your poorly veiled attempts to malign MM in order to promote Blue Fish are obvious and pathetic.  If you want government dictated 'fairness', go to N Korea.  If Frank is jealous that MM will be newer and nicer than his place, tell him to pony up the cash.  John isn't getting a new restaurant for free; he is forking over tons of cash to make it happen.  Nobody is preventing Frank from doing the same, except for Frank.  I am amazed at how quickly you have eroded your credibility on this site in the last couple months.
I love want you have said and I feel you're right on the money! I hope the planning commission puts the last nail in the coffin and that Mellow Mushroom starts building ASAP!

If_I_Loved_you

September 27, 2012, 10:45:33 AM


Just a helpful reminder from those asps at We Love Avondale that tomorrow the planning commission is meeting on the subject of Mellow Mushrooms (three times altered to suit RAP) new development in Avondale.
wasp
"White anglo-saxon protestant. this usually refers to affluent people in the Avondale / Riverside area, but also whites of "old money" in other areas throughout the country."

I think he meant "asps", a type of snake..

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asp_(reptile)

Because of course we all know that Jacksonville is not run by the WASPS; down here it would be the MOB (Minority-Opposed Baptists) or in Avondale its CAMEs (Competition-Avoidant Merchant Episcopalians).
Two great bumper stickers in the making "MOB (Minority-Opposed Baptists) or in Avondale its CAMEs (Competition-Avoidant Merchant Episcopalians)."

Timkin

September 27, 2012, 04:55:34 PM
I just hate that the gas station now has to be demoed.   Id rather it had been altered to be a restaurant.  Now it has to go in a modern stucco wonder. 

Forgive me , but I am at a loss for why the Station MUST be demolished.  makes no sense whatsoever.

Agreed; it sucks.  The problem in a nutshell is that since it was built in '64 it's not a Contributing Structure by city standards and therefore wouldn't be eligible for the parking waiver.  There was a plan on the table that provided all but (I think) 3 of the required spots and kept the gas station intact, but WLA and RAP opposed it.

Crazy.




 It is bullshit that demo is being forced.

Timkin

September 27, 2012, 05:15:57 PM
Ok....notable people here.

Firsty there is Jennifer Mansfield, the comforting Aunt with a heart of soft flint who is the wonderful attorney working with RAP..  She is also a member of the Historic Preservation Commission, and a long beloved figure with the preservation crowd.

Tony Alligretti just ambled up looking for a speakers card,

Mike Field is here looking every inch the earnest young mortgage banker,

John Valentino, the owner of Mellow Mushroom is here with his remarkable pr and legal team.

Stephen.. Can you please ask ( or perhaps you already know this)  if the Station must go..and if so, WHY?   

I am not understanding that.

mtraininjax

September 27, 2012, 09:31:28 PM
Quote
Stephen.. Can you please ask ( or perhaps you already know this)  if the Station must go..and if so, WHY?   

I am not understanding that.

Timken, the station does not have to go. John wants a bigger space than the 6000 square feet of 'town and Benham's, which is why he wants to tear down the garage and utilize the lot and space for a larger total restaurant. The 'town/Benham space is on a separate parcel from the gas station, so he can leave it as is, sell it to 7-11, or tear it down, as it is not a contributing structure, from the RAP website.

It is completely and totally up to John on what he wants to do with it. No one is telling him to tear it down, no order to tear it down, nothing wrong with it as it is.

Unless John rezoned the 'town/Benham area to include the gas station, which the COJ Property Appraiser does not show, the 2 can remain separate.

Tacachale

September 28, 2012, 11:18:08 AM
Quote
Stephen.. Can you please ask ( or perhaps you already know this)  if the Station must go..and if so, WHY?   

I am not understanding that.

Timken, the station does not have to go. John wants a bigger space than the 6000 square feet of 'town and Benham's, which is why he wants to tear down the garage and utilize the lot and space for a larger total restaurant. The 'town/Benham space is on a separate parcel from the gas station, so he can leave it as is, sell it to 7-11, or tear it down, as it is not a contributing structure, from the RAP website.

It is completely and totally up to John on what he wants to do with it. No one is telling him to tear it down, no order to tear it down, nothing wrong with it as it is.

Unless John rezoned the 'town/Benham area to include the gas station, which the COJ Property Appraiser does not show, the 2 can remain separate.

BS. He didn't want to tear down the station, he wanted to adapt it. He agreed to tear it down and replace it with a parking lot as a compromise. And he still got run through the gauntlet for his effort.

If_I_Loved_you

September 28, 2012, 11:28:05 AM
Quote
Stephen.. Can you please ask ( or perhaps you already know this)  if the Station must go..and if so, WHY?   

I am not understanding that.

Timken, the station does not have to go. John wants a bigger space than the 6000 square feet of 'town and Benham's, which is why he wants to tear down the garage and utilize the lot and space for a larger total restaurant. The 'town/Benham space is on a separate parcel from the gas station, so he can leave it as is, sell it to 7-11, or tear it down, as it is not a contributing structure, from the RAP website.

It is completely and totally up to John on what he wants to do with it. No one is telling him to tear it down, no order to tear it down, nothing wrong with it as it is.

Unless John rezoned the 'town/Benham area to include the gas station, which the COJ Property Appraiser does not show, the 2 can remain separate.

BS. He didn't want to tear down the station, he wanted to adapt it. He agreed to tear it down and replace it with a parking lot as a compromise. And he still got run through the gauntlet for his effort.
That's just the way it is, somethings never change.

Coolyfett

October 14, 2012, 11:31:30 AM
Are there any other mm in duval or is this their first attempt?

Adam W

October 14, 2012, 01:28:50 PM
Are there any other mm in duval or is this their first attempt?

I believe there is one at the beach and there might be one on the southside. I thought there used to be one on the westside near the Target on 17, but I don't think it's there anymore (or don't know if I am totally remembering that incorrectly).

fsquid

October 14, 2012, 01:55:32 PM
Not Duval, but one in Fleming Island

Adam W

October 14, 2012, 02:04:25 PM
Not Duval, but one in Fleming Island

Did they close the one at the beach?

Tacachale

October 14, 2012, 02:11:03 PM
There are Mellow Mushrooms in Jax, all owned by Valentino: in Jacksonville Beach, Southside by Tinseltown, and Fleming Island.

ben says

October 14, 2012, 02:25:30 PM
Quote
Stephen.. Can you please ask ( or perhaps you already know this)  if the Station must go..and if so, WHY?   

I am not understanding that.

Timken, the station does not have to go. John wants a bigger space than the 6000 square feet of 'town and Benham's, which is why he wants to tear down the garage and utilize the lot and space for a larger total restaurant. The 'town/Benham space is on a separate parcel from the gas station, so he can leave it as is, sell it to 7-11, or tear it down, as it is not a contributing structure, from the RAP website.

It is completely and totally up to John on what he wants to do with it. No one is telling him to tear it down, no order to tear it down, nothing wrong with it as it is.

Unless John rezoned the 'town/Benham area to include the gas station, which the COJ Property Appraiser does not show, the 2 can remain separate.

Why are you so willfully ignorant? Anyone who has watched this thing go down from the start knows thats BS....

Intuition Ale Works

October 15, 2012, 05:07:33 PM

Cool article in Southern Living about re-purposing Gas Stations..

http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2012/10/08/restored-gas-stations/

What could have been...

JeffreyS

October 15, 2012, 08:28:00 PM
Good article. I could picture the Gas Station on San Juan and Hershel.

Timkin

October 15, 2012, 09:07:30 PM
Its not too late for this Station, the one on Herschel and San Juan. 

We have a derelict group forcing this one to be torn down and THEY STILL don't want MM in Avondale.  It isn't even about the Gas Station.  Its about trying to get MM to fold.

If I were Valentino, I would now fight them with everything and insist the Station stays.   It actually would cost more to refurbish the Station , than new build probably, but it would be a HIT, and that is why the group does not want them here. 

Mellow Mushroom is going to ruin the neighborhood.  Bull$#!t!

If_I_Loved_you

October 15, 2012, 10:37:41 PM
Its not too late for this Station, the one on Herschel and San Juan. 

We have a derelict group forcing this one to be torn down and THEY STILL don't want MM in Avondale.  It isn't even about the Gas Station.  Its about trying to get MM to fold.

If I were Valentino, I would now fight them with everything and insist the Station stays.   It actually would cost more to refurbish the Station , than new build probably, but it would be a HIT, and that is why the group does not want them here. 

Mellow Mushroom is going to ruin the neighborhood.  Bull$#!t!
Don't forget if the station stays the PARKING PROBLEM comes back. Unless you move the station forward and keep the parking in the same area with the station removed.  ;)

fsquid

October 15, 2012, 11:43:25 PM
I've seen petrol stations in both Memphis and Charlotte turned into eateries and it makes for a cool atmosphere.

mikea

November 11, 2012, 08:59:53 AM
I too am a resident and want the "Nazi's" to stop their narrow minded bible belt baptist mentality! If it were a christian bookstore these idiots would be helping to build it.
Looking forward to another Mellow Mushroom in Jax!!!!

Spence

December 10, 2012, 01:45:38 AM
The voice given to historic districts should be limited to protection of existing historic stock. 

Jacksonville should not be in the business of being an HOA for every enclave of disgruntled neighbors .  And frankly, the rest of the city should rise up and demand that they not have to foot the bill for this parade of idiocy.

  AND

Ennis,

My inbox has been buzzing with messages from people on both sides of this issue.  None of what I have found out so far changes what I have stated in previous posts.  As far as the meeting goes, I want to talk to Jim Love himself about it.  Honestly, I am not interested in the content of the discussion during that meeting as much as I am interested in the open and fair treatment of all the members of our community. I have been told by several who have contacted me who are connected to the WLA that they did not cause the situation with the food truck and MM during Christmas in Avondale but at the same time there is on record the statements of Ms. Grant about MM with the gossipy tone of "the merchant's told them" sort of thing.  All of this commentary meant to excite passion on one side of the issue.  At this point it does not matter so much who did the deed as does the outcome of that confrontation which has only made this public discussion more pointed.

I have also been told that Ms. Grant is a "nice lady" and perhaps she is, but even nice folks can create unneeded problems.  I have verified that Ms. Grant was indeed the party telling people to leave the meeting and she was out of line in doing so.  The councilman is the person responsible for calling the meeting and chairing it.  Not Ms. Grant.  I would like to hear from Mr. Love himself what the criterion for attendance was.  It is currently my understanding that this was a "mediation" meeting between the principals of MM and parties who had filed appeals of some type.  I would guess the intent was to try and resolve some of the conflicts in a gracious and fair manner.  I do not know yet however if that was the case, but do know that all sides issues will be weighed at some point as appeals must be processed.  While WLA has organized they are still just a citizen group with no greater voice in this than the next property or business owner.  I can tell you I am sure hearing a lot of bellyaching and upset.  The last thing to hit print was a piece in the local "Resident Community News" which pretty much rehashes what has been said already with the exception that the article they have in print discusses the actions and conversation of a Mr. Donahoo as strongly objecting to the project and then references the WLA website and RAP website for further information, which in my view is quite one sided.  What I do know is that the process continues, this deal is moving forward and it is in the planning department.   As I stated in one private correspondence yesterday that was citing parking and the serving of alcohol as a the problem.   The problem with using that argument is that the parking situation is not new and is old news.  Nothing has changed in that regard.  Secondly was commentary about drunks and car accidents which speaks to a much broader issue that goes beyond this situation and is really a city, state and nationwide problem. While some in the community may have been confronted with these issues, there is no valid way to prove that car accidents or drunks are the result of any particular restaurant or business.  People can drink at home or at parties and be foolish enough to get behind the wheel.  Saying one business will make that matter worse is speculation at best.   It is unfair in my view to place that problem or fear on the shoulders of a person who has yet to start up a business.  The other reality is that the Mexican restaurant in the town that was there for some time also had a bar and is now closed, so the MM project in reality would only bring back the level of alcohol availability to what it was for the past several years.  The other point brought to my attention by opponents of the MM was that alcohol service Mr. Valentino wants is a variance request and does not have to be granted.  The problem is this.  That variance has already been granted to other business in the shops and the president has already been set.  There is no valid way for the city to refuse Valentino's  request without some sort of prejudice being sighted and an ensuing legal battle which I have to say would likely be decided in MM's favor. 

As you stated earlier Ennis, this is a good old fashioned battle of wills and it has gone too far in my opinion and considering the correspondence I have received in the last two days, many residents are tired of the whole situation.  What this will come down to will be a decision about granting the variance.  Whether or not some like it, the reality is that Mr. Valentino is well within his rights as a property owner and denying his request cannot be viewed as anything other than prejudicial.   I must tell you that so far I can find no indication that any underhanded dealing is going on here but rather the age old nonsense of one group wishing that their will trumps another. 

Good article. I could picture the Gas Station on San Juan and Hershel.


Dennis

December 19, 2012, 08:31:16 AM
I know why not turn The shops of Avondale into a New Orleans type Bourbon street.. MM will make the sixth bar and we will have a good start.

Dennis

ChriswUfGator

December 19, 2012, 08:34:32 AM
It's a pizza restaurant, not a "bar."

Aren't I still allowed to have a drink with dinner in this country?

JeffreyS

December 19, 2012, 08:36:25 AM
MM is a restaurant. So is the Brick, Mojo and Blue Fish. I think of Monty's as a Bar even though they serve food. Am I missing a tenant who is primarily a Bar.

cline

December 19, 2012, 08:44:03 AM
^Monty's doesn't serve food anymore-at least not actual entrees.  I think they may have apps though.  Monty's is a true bar in every sense of the word yet we here nothing from the WLA/anti-MM shills about that place and it's been there for decades.  Pretty interesting actually.  I assume it is because that same crowd probably enjoys the convenience of being able to get their booze via drive thru.  Maybe it makes them nostalgic or something.  Somehow they think a pizza joint is much more rowdy/scary/undesirable than a drive thru package store with a lounge attached.

JeffreyS

December 19, 2012, 08:52:05 AM
Calling MM a bar is the same as saying you are going on a pub crawl to Outback, Olive Garden and Ruth's Chris.

Captain Zissou

December 19, 2012, 08:56:24 AM
I know why not turn The shops of Avondale into a New Orleans type Bourbon street.. MM will make the sixth bar and we will have a good start.

Dennis


Bourbon Street is better at managing their parking situation, so that may not be such a bad idea.  It also would create jobs in the area, which no good American is against. Thanks for the constructive input*, Dennis.

*I know that you weren't trying to be helpful in any way, but I'm just trying to make something out of your dreadfully sour lemons.

fsujax

December 19, 2012, 08:58:56 AM
well, it is much easier to get around NO because their transit system is far superior to ours.

Dennis

December 19, 2012, 03:11:56 PM
I know why not turn The shops of Avondale into a New Orleans type Bourbon street.. MM will make the sixth bar and we will have a good start.

Dennis

Tacachale

December 19, 2012, 03:34:43 PM
^Que? Mellow Mushroom is a pizza place. I know the pizza crowd can get pretty rowdy, but come on.

Captain Zissou

December 19, 2012, 03:48:46 PM
I know why not turn The shops of Avondale into a New Orleans type Bourbon street.. MM will make the sixth bar and we will have a good start.

Dennis

Dude. We got it.  Saying it twice doesn't make your comment any less wrong.  MM is a restaurant that is more family friendly than 3 who are on the strip.  It is no more a bar than the Jags are a superbowl contender. 

TPC

December 19, 2012, 03:54:24 PM
I wish it was already open. I'm hungry for a Holy Shiitake pizza right now.

MEGATRON

December 19, 2012, 03:55:05 PM
I know why not turn The shops of Avondale into a New Orleans type Bourbon street.. MM will make the sixth bar and we will have a good start.

Dennis
AAAHHHHHH.  Glitch in the Matrix.

stephendare

December 19, 2012, 05:57:27 PM
I know why not turn The shops of Avondale into a New Orleans type Bourbon street.. MM will make the sixth bar and we will have a good start.

Dennis

Well if the neighborhood supports another rendering plant and slaughterhouse like the one that they have at Brick, and the full scale fishery like the one at Blue Fish, or the agricultural plantation like the one they have at Biscotti's then I would agree with you Dennis.

But does this mean that the number of live chickens being killed in broad daylight on St. Johns Avenue will be increased to intolerable levels?  Inquiring minds want to know!

tufsu1

December 19, 2012, 10:21:27 PM
not saying I agree....but....

from what I've been told, the definition of a nightclub in the city apparently has changed....any new establishment that has live music after midnight will now be considered a "nightclub".


stephendare

December 19, 2012, 10:23:32 PM
not saying I agree....but....

from what I've been told, the definition of a nightclub in the city apparently has changed....any new establishment that has live music after midnight will now be considered a "nightclub".

Like midnight  mass at church?

stephendare

December 19, 2012, 10:27:06 PM
In any case, whatever semantics people might be throwing around, no ordinance has been passed changing the language, which is kind of important.

Also that would drastically relabel the two 4COP liscensed establishments that are already out there.  Both the Brick and Blue Fish hold actual liquor and live performance liscenses.

On the other hand, Mellow Mushroom has an SRX liscense, which makes it by Statute (which is higher up on the food chain than Ordinance or Policy) a restaurant.

stephendare

December 19, 2012, 10:28:55 PM
This exact issue came up monday afternoon, while I was in Avondale discussing the attempt by one of the We Love Avondale members to have Blue Fish shut down as a bar, effectively rendering their liquor liscense useless.

tufsu1

December 19, 2012, 10:30:29 PM
In any case, whatever semantics people might be throwing around, no ordinance has been passed changing the language, which is kind of important.

my understanding is that an official change was made last year...which is partially why MM requested a variance/exception

stephendare

December 19, 2012, 10:32:30 PM
In any case, whatever semantics people might be throwing around, no ordinance has been passed changing the language, which is kind of important.

my understanding is that an official change was made last year...which is partially why MM requested a variance/exception

I think you might have been misinformed, TUFSU, the liscensing guidelines are pretty cut and dried and they originate from the state with a pretty inseparable link to how liquor liscensing works

tufsu1

December 19, 2012, 10:34:33 PM
I believe what folks are referring to are local zoning rules

stephendare

December 19, 2012, 10:35:54 PM
I believe what folks are referring to are local zoning rules

they might be, but statute would still trump ordinance.

Dennis

December 20, 2012, 07:31:29 AM

DUDE
A word that americans use to address each other. Particularly stoners, surfers and skaters.

ChriswUfGator

December 20, 2012, 07:33:44 AM

DUDE
A word that americans use to address each other. Particularly stoners, surfers and skaters.


That makes an apple a pomegranate, how?

MEGATRON

December 20, 2012, 09:00:33 AM
This exact issue came up monday afternoon, while I was in Avondale discussing the attempt by one of the We Love Avondale members to have Blue Fish shut down as a bar, effectively rendering their liquor liscense useless.
Wait, what? 

downtownjag

December 20, 2012, 09:12:42 AM
I've scanned all 5 pages, and maybe missed something, but what became of the vote?  What's the status of this project as of 9:12AM 12/20/12? :-) 

Dennis

December 20, 2012, 09:24:05 AM

DUDE
A word that americans use to address each other. Particularly stoners, surfers and skaters.


That makes an apple a pomegranate, how?

Captain Zissou

December 20, 2012, 09:48:17 AM

DUDE
A word that americans use to address each other. Particularly stoners, surfers and skaters.


Your innability to contribute to the discussion is truly astounding.  To your credit, in the back of my head I’m thinking that you’re not a loony old bat who forgot to take their meds, but a clever wordsmith just having some fun. Your lack of coherence is too profound not to be intentional.

If this is representative of the kinds of things valentino has to deal with, then I have true sympathy for the man.  As the old saying goes, It's impossible to win in an argument when the other side doesn't feel the need to make any sense.

Dennis

December 20, 2012, 09:59:04 AM

DUDE
A word that americans use to address each other. Particularly stoners, surfers and skaters.


Your innability to contribute to the discussion is truly astounding.  To your credit, in the back of my head I’m thinking that you’re not a loony old bat who forgot to take their meds, but a clever wordsmith just having some fun. Your lack of coherence is too profound not to be intentional.

If this is representative of the kinds of things valentino has to deal with, then I have true sympathy for the man.  As the old saying goes, It's impossible to win in an argument when the other side doesn't feel the need to make any sense.

Thank you...

If_I_Loved_you

December 20, 2012, 10:03:31 AM

DUDE
A word that americans use to address each other. Particularly stoners, surfers and skaters.


Your innability to contribute to the discussion is truly astounding.  To your credit, in the back of my head I’m thinking that you’re not a loony old bat who forgot to take their meds, but a clever wordsmith just having some fun. Your lack of coherence is too profound not to be intentional.

If this is representative of the kinds of things valentino has to deal with, then I have true sympathy for the man.  As the old saying goes, It's impossible to win in an argument when the other side doesn't feel the need to make any sense.

Thank you...

cline

December 20, 2012, 10:07:41 AM

DUDE
A word that americans use to address each other. Particularly stoners, surfers and skaters.


Your innability to contribute to the discussion is truly astounding.  To your credit, in the back of my head I’m thinking that you’re not a loony old bat who forgot to take their meds, but a clever wordsmith just having some fun. Your lack of coherence is too profound not to be intentional.

If this is representative of the kinds of things valentino has to deal with, then I have true sympathy for the man.  As the old saying goes, It's impossible to win in an argument when the other side doesn't feel the need to make any sense.

Thank you...

Look on the bright side Dennis, when St. Johns Avenue turns into Bourbon Street you'll be able to increase your rents tremendously.  Have you seen how much it costs to rent places in the French Quarter?  $$$$$$  And since you said you provide off-street parking-even more money for you.  Cha-ching.

thelakelander

December 20, 2012, 10:28:45 AM
So there goes the argument of declining property values.....

stephendare

December 20, 2012, 10:58:29 AM
So there goes the argument of declining property values.....

Well according to Dennis, he bought his property 30 years ago, when the property wasnt worth very much.  Since then the commerical establishments have invested millions of dollars in the community and the property values have risen substantially.

Interesting thing about Alicia Grant.

Apparently she also picked up very cheap property in Avondale.  She spent approximately 1/10th of what Valentino alone has spent thus far.

Dennis

December 21, 2012, 07:28:05 AM
So there goes the argument of declining property values.....

Of course..

Tacachale

December 21, 2012, 11:00:56 AM
So there goes the argument of declining property values.....

Of course..

You really think an abandoned gas station turning into a pizza restaurant, or the emergence of a destination retail strip in your neighborhood, will decrease your property value?

Dennis

December 21, 2012, 12:47:16 PM
no

cline

December 21, 2012, 01:01:16 PM
^So your issue is the fact that you currently have to deal with "drunks" waking you and your tenants up night.  I would recommend directing your anger towards The Brick, Monty's, Blue Fish et. al. since they are the ones causing your problem.  MM hasn't been built yet so obviously they are not the problem.  Or perhaps you should direct your anger towards some of your neighbors who also very well may be the drunks awakening you at night.

Dennis

December 21, 2012, 01:31:33 PM
When is enough enough?

cline

December 21, 2012, 01:36:10 PM
When is enough enough?

When you open up your checkbook and purchase all the available commercial properties at the Shoppes so you can redevelop them as you wish.  The gas station property was for sale for a long time.  You had your chance.

funwithteeth

December 21, 2012, 01:40:39 PM
Dennis is like one of those old AIMbots that had a limited stock of phrases to which to respond to whatever you said to it.

drhandbook

December 21, 2012, 02:45:07 PM
I'm not going to be happy until I can pass out nekkid in the middle of the shoppes chugging bottles of night train while waiting for my pizza.

Dennis

December 22, 2012, 08:03:50 AM
Love you all..
I am off for a cruise over Christmas..Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a great New Year...

Dennis

520 days at sea
45 cruises
12 cruise lines
T/P, T/A, Hawaii, Central & South America, New Zealand & South Pacific, Rio/ Amazon, Alaska

If_I_Loved_you

December 22, 2012, 08:44:16 AM
Love you all..
I am off for a cruise over Christmas..Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a great New Year...

Dennis

520 days at sea
45 cruises
12 cruise lines
T/P, T/A, Hawaii, Central & South America, New Zealand & South Pacific, Rio/ Amazon, Alaska
And by the time you come back Mellow Mushroom will be breaking ground?

Kaiser Soze

December 22, 2012, 10:12:27 AM
When is enough enough?
What a clown

sheclown

December 22, 2012, 11:11:14 AM
I'm not going to be happy until I can pass out nekkid in the middle of the shoppes chugging bottles of night train while waiting for my pizza.

:)

Pinky

December 23, 2012, 08:44:33 AM
I'm not going to be happy until I can pass out nekkid in the middle of the shoppes chugging bottles of night train while waiting for my pizza.

:)

According to Dennis The Spam Bot, that's already a regular occurrence already in Sodom And Gomorrah err, I mean Avondale And Riverside.  Well, except for the yummy pizza...

Adam W

December 23, 2012, 08:51:56 AM
I'm not going to be happy until I can pass out nekkid in the middle of the shoppes chugging bottles of night train while waiting for my pizza.

:)

According to Dennis The Spam Bot, that's already a regular occurrence already in Sodom And Gomorrah err, I mean Avondale And Riverside.  Well, except for the yummy pizza...

So he posted something twice and now he's a "spambot?" Seems really have little tolerance for people with differing opinions. I may not agree with Dennis, but geez...

Gators312

December 23, 2012, 09:56:51 AM
I'm not going to be happy until I can pass out nekkid in the middle of the shoppes chugging bottles of night train while waiting for my pizza.

:)

According to Dennis The Spam Bot, that's already a regular occurrence already in Sodom And Gomorrah err, I mean Avondale And Riverside.  Well, except for the yummy pizza...

So he posted something twice and now he's a "spambot?" Seems really have little tolerance for people with differing opinions. I may not agree with Dennis, but geez...

I don't think it's because a difference of opinions, I think it's his failure to participate in a rational discussion and responding with one word answers and general nonsense that has him labeled as a
Bot.

If_I_Loved_you

December 23, 2012, 10:37:39 AM
I'm not going to be happy until I can pass out nekkid in the middle of the shoppes chugging bottles of night train while waiting for my pizza.

:)

According to Dennis The Spam Bot, that's already a regular occurrence already in Sodom And Gomorrah err, I mean Avondale And Riverside.  Well, except for the yummy pizza...

So he posted something twice and now he's a "spambot?" Seems really have little tolerance for people with differing opinions. I may not agree with Dennis, but geez...

I don't think it's because a difference of opinions, I think it's his failure to participate in a rational discussion and responding with one word answers and general nonsense that has him labeled as a
Bot.
Lets see I was labled a Troll, Dennis a Bot and the a lot of you metrojacksonville members are ?

Adam W

December 23, 2012, 11:24:31 AM
I'm not going to be happy until I can pass out nekkid in the middle of the shoppes chugging bottles of night train while waiting for my pizza.

:)

According to Dennis The Spam Bot, that's already a regular occurrence already in Sodom And Gomorrah err, I mean Avondale And Riverside.  Well, except for the yummy pizza...

So he posted something twice and now he's a "spambot?" Seems really have little tolerance for people with differing opinions. I may not agree with Dennis, but geez...

I don't think it's because a difference of opinions, I think it's his failure to participate in a rational discussion and responding with one word answers and general nonsense that has him labeled as a
Bot.

Maybe. But it seems that when a dissenting opinion is voice re Mellow Mushroom, the wagons are circled and the knives come out. There is no room for a difference of opinion (in the eyes of some).

In my opinion, Dennis attempted to state his position at first and got nothing but grief. Of course, you've got to have a bit of a thick skin to last on this forum. But at the same time, if you really want the other side of the story re Mellow Mushroom and if you want to open up a dialogue with people who are in opposition to the restaurant (e.g. people who aren't regular forum members), it might be wise to tread a bit lightly and try to engage with them.

I'm not directing that at you, Gators, or at Pinky, even - it's just a general observation.

stephendare

June 02, 2014, 11:18:17 AM
I know why not turn The shops of Avondale into a New Orleans type Bourbon street.. MM will make the sixth bar and we will have a good start.

Dennis

Apache

June 02, 2014, 11:39:00 AM
I still can't figure out why so many still refer to MM as family friendly or more family friendly than any other place on the strip. I'd be curious to see their breakdown of alcohol to food sales now that they are up and running.

stephendare

June 02, 2014, 11:47:00 AM
well just observationally, when I was there a few days ago, it was simply crawling with children.  Including whole tables of teens and pre teens having pizza while their parents sat at nearby tables.

Steve

June 02, 2014, 11:51:22 AM
One of the things I like about Mellow Mushroom is how it can transform. For example, weekday/summer lunch and early dinner, it's great for kids and families. Late night, not so much. But frankly at 11pm, what is your 6 year old doing out anyway?

Apache

June 02, 2014, 12:02:56 PM
well just observationally, when I was there a few days ago, it was simply crawling with children.  Including whole tables of teens and pre teens having pizza while their parents sat at nearby tables.

I get that, and I'm sure people go in with their kids. But, wouldn't you agree it was really pushed as "Family Friendly"? It came on all at once and many many people started referring to it as such. It surely had to have been PR Firm generated, my opinion.
I mean the bar seems to be the big focus to me. The "Pie Bar" sign is more prevalent than the MM sign in my opinion. It's front and center. I had someone ask me if I knew what the Pie Bar was and they didn't even realize it was Mellow Mushroom. They didn't go in of course, just driving by.
They have a kids menu with 4 items, and one of those items is a pretzel, not much of a meal. It's not like they have any games or anything that kids use, it's no different than Brick or Biscottis or Mojos as far as kids go. They have that cool pin wall thing but kids aren't supposed to touch it. Kids dig firetrucks but that's used as a table, and the kids get shooed away from it when the inevitably go to climb on it, because someone is eating there.
My anecdotal evidence is that anytime I go or am invited to meet up there it's to meet at the bar and maybe have an app.
Not that I really care, it's a good, cool looking bar, and it's busy and fun.
As I've stated before, I just find the Family friendly motto just as disingenuous as the WLA propaganda. Yeah, kids like pizza but this is an adult pizza joint and bar with an adult menu and flavor profile. Nothing wrong with that, call it what it is.

Steve

June 02, 2014, 12:07:23 PM
The entire pizza section is a kids menu. As well as an adults. Most pizza places don't have a huge kids menu.

Steve

June 02, 2014, 12:08:53 PM
And as far as the pin wall, in talking to them it was basically a design flaw. First of all, it goes to the floor so kids were trying to climb it. And second, it pushes back into a narrow server area, so the placement wasn't the best

stephendare

June 02, 2014, 12:10:26 PM
I get you.

But if you compare it with the other restaurants and offerings over there, its wasn't a kid friendly environment.  Most of the restaurants are really too expensive and grown up for children.  Biscotti's welcomes families, but you wouldn't feel comfortable with a bunch of unstructured teenagers running amok with the menu there.  Casbah is a smoking environment and for that reason alone unsuitable for many parents.  The seafood restaurant is definitely too formal.  Mojos and the brick are ok for kids, but West Inn has always been more of a bar.

A place like MM was definitely an enlargement for people with kids for Avondale.

There is cool furniture, cheaper food for those gigantic teenage appetites….and its got fun music.

Apache

June 02, 2014, 12:12:14 PM
The entire pizza section is a kids menu. As well as an adults. Most pizza places don't have a huge kids menu.

Most places aren't touted as family friendly as much as this particular MM.
And I respectfully disagree with your opinion about the pizza menu, my boys aren't touching a Shitaake Mushroom Pizza, or almost any pie on that menu other than maybe the House Special (minus the mushrooms, onions, black olives and green peppers!)

stephendare

June 02, 2014, 12:14:23 PM
The entire pizza section is a kids menu. As well as an adults. Most pizza places don't have a huge kids menu.

Most places aren't touted as family friendly as much as this particular MM.
And I respectfully disagree with your opinion about the pizza menu, my boys aren't touching a Shitaake Mushroom Pizza, or almost any pie on that menu other than maybe the House Special (minus the mushrooms, onions, black olives and green peppers!)

proof that you have boys!  lol.  Zorn wouldn't eat anything extra unless we guaranteed him it was made of worms and monster droppings.

Steve

June 02, 2014, 12:17:30 PM
Well no, the entire pizza menu isn't kid-friendly, but again, find me a large kids menu at any pizza place.

funwithteeth

June 02, 2014, 02:03:09 PM
Apache, you know you can get something as simple as a regular pepperoni pizza there, right? It's under the Build Your Own section (or whatever they call it).

Overstreet

June 02, 2014, 03:32:31 PM
well just observationally, when I was there a few days ago, it was simply crawling with children.  Including whole tables of teens and pre teens having pizza while their parents sat at nearby tables.

I get that, and I'm sure people go in with their kids. But, wouldn't you agree it was really pushed as "Family Friendly"? It came on all at once and many many people started referring to it as such. It surely had to have been PR Firm generated, my opinion.
I mean the bar seems to be the big focus to me. The "Pie Bar" sign is more prevalent than the MM sign in my opinion. It's front and center. I had someone ask me if I knew what the Pie Bar was and they didn't even realize it was Mellow Mushroom. They didn't go in of course, just driving by.
They have a kids menu with 4 items, and one of those items is a pretzel, not much of a meal. It's not like they have any games or anything that kids use, it's no different than Brick or Biscottis or Mojos as far as kids go. They have that cool pin wall thing but kids aren't supposed to touch it. Kids dig firetrucks but that's used as a table, and the kids get shooed away from it when the inevitably go to climb on it, because someone is eating there.
My anecdotal evidence is that anytime I go or am invited to meet up there it's to meet at the bar and maybe have an app.
Not that I really care, it's a good, cool looking bar, and it's busy and fun.
As I've stated before, I just find the Family friendly motto just as disingenuous as the WLA propaganda. Yeah, kids like pizza but this is an adult pizza joint and bar with an adult menu and flavor profile. Nothing wrong with that, call it what it is.

So does this mean that "Family friendly" is one that is all for entertaining the kids like a Chuckie Cheese  and the majority of neighborhood pizza parlors across the country aren't kid friendly?

Apache

June 02, 2014, 04:39:47 PM
well just observationally, when I was there a few days ago, it was simply crawling with children.  Including whole tables of teens and pre teens having pizza while their parents sat at nearby tables.

I get that, and I'm sure people go in with their kids. But, wouldn't you agree it was really pushed as "Family Friendly"? It came on all at once and many many people started referring to it as such. It surely had to have been PR Firm generated, my opinion.
I mean the bar seems to be the big focus to me. The "Pie Bar" sign is more prevalent than the MM sign in my opinion. It's front and center. I had someone ask me if I knew what the Pie Bar was and they didn't even realize it was Mellow Mushroom. They didn't go in of course, just driving by.
They have a kids menu with 4 items, and one of those items is a pretzel, not much of a meal. It's not like they have any games or anything that kids use, it's no different than Brick or Biscottis or Mojos as far as kids go. They have that cool pin wall thing but kids aren't supposed to touch it. Kids dig firetrucks but that's used as a table, and the kids get shooed away from it when the inevitably go to climb on it, because someone is eating there.
My anecdotal evidence is that anytime I go or am invited to meet up there it's to meet at the bar and maybe have an app.
Not that I really care, it's a good, cool looking bar, and it's busy and fun.
As I've stated before, I just find the Family friendly motto just as disingenuous as the WLA propaganda. Yeah, kids like pizza but this is an adult pizza joint and bar with an adult menu and flavor profile. Nothing wrong with that, call it what it is.

So does this mean that "Family friendly" is one that is all for entertaining the kids like a Chuckie Cheese  and the majority of neighborhood pizza parlors across the country aren't kid friendly?

Couple things to wrap up my opinion.
First, I don't even consider Chuck E Cheese a restaurant. In my eyes it's a party/special event center, just like Adventure Landing or something similar that also serves food. Does one even go into a Chuck E Cheese just to eat and not for a party? I don't know honestly.  So no, IMO you don't have to be Chuck E Cheese to be family friendly.

Second, we've established, I believe, that most kids like pizza. Does that make all pizza places kid friendly? If so why? Is Moon River kid friendly? Maybe, maybe more so, they give your kids a hunk of dough to play with and throw all over.
Kids love hot dogs. Are hot dog vendors family friendly?

The basis of my part of this discussion is that MM was heavily promoted as Family Friendly in direct response to the push back from the opposing neighborhood groups. It literally got to the point on some threads to a "come on it's for the kids" type deal. I thought that was transparent. How can you oppose our business, we are doing it for families...

To me, family friendly implies, casual, probably inexpensive or at least not overly expensive and if we are going out to dinner and I'm going to let the kids pick, what do they choose. In my family, that would be Red Elephant, Dave & Busters, Hurricanes or Lillian's (game room!!) If you asked 20 kids I'd be shocked if 2 or 3 picked MM, if any.

If someone asked me about MM, that had no idea what Mellow Mushroom is. I would tell them it's a gourmet pizza place, with a huge craft beer selection and kick ass Moscow Mules, with a cool bar scene and a bunch of sports on a bunch of tvs. Kids or family wouldn't come up in my description.

Finally, when I have gone in, a number of times, I have seen many friends and many, many people I know that are my age and have kids, and their kids are rarely with them.

Thats all. Again, I've made it clear that I like the place. Don't miss the point I was making just about the branding.

Finally, again, I would bet a $2 bill that the vast majority of their profit comes from alcohol sales. I'm sure they could survive without the Pie Bar part of the establishment, but if I am correct about the bar being the profit center, then I wouldn't label that as a family establishment. Nothing wrong with that being the profit center, but just saying.

fieldafm

June 02, 2014, 04:48:44 PM
Quote
Is Moon River kid friendly? Maybe, maybe more so, they give your kids a hunk of dough to play with and throw all over.

Mellow does that. I believe that the Jacksonville franchisee made that a nationwide push for other Mellow franchises. They also have the standard coloring pages/crayons that say an Applebees (which touts itself as kid friendly) does.

I'd also add that Red Elephant doesn't have a fire truck that kids play in, nor a massive pin wall that kids can also play with.

If using the percentage of alcohol sales as a litmus test, then I would submit that a place like Applebees would fail miserably as a 'family-friendly' restaurant despite the considerable advertising suggesting that it is.

Tacachale

June 02, 2014, 05:51:33 PM
Not to pile on, but I'm not sure I quite understand this complaint. Maybe the Avondale MM is different (haven't been yet) but my family takes their variously-aged kids to the Beaches and Southside locations all the time. I wouldn't describe them as any less "family friendly" than any other similar restaurant, though they do have better drinks for when aunt and uncle tag along. Perhaps it's "extended family friendly".

Know Growth

June 02, 2014, 08:37:12 PM
  I'm looking forward to getting stoned when marijuana is finally legal, then head to the Fire Truck.
Gosh...used to get my hair cut just steps away.Just can't seem to Do The Fire Truck. As if some Central Florida TouristTheme feature. Best experienced in Altered State;Avondale Tourist! Merchandising!!
Sheesh.Twenty years in and around the Shoppes has been,,,,,well,,,,,,,,a "Trip".

MM Alcohol setting might be key hinge in shifting MM off of "Fast Food" establishment profile-the presence of "Fast Food" facilities tends to denigrate area under "Best Place" review.So yes,let's Bow in enthusiastic ineptitude.

Keep Walking!

The premise that a vacant lot ('corner',gas station no less!) could be,should be transformed was a given.
The photo accompanying the original post is Myopic.Understandably,although in this case,not excusably.
THEN WHAT?
What would the outcome have been without the meddling of the pesky NIMBY,RAP and the Firewall We Love Avondale? Few here can recount the complete suite of rezone Request scenario(*).What Might Had Been Had The Applicant Enjoyed Free Reign.
And my personal favorite: What if the rezone, business package was limited solely to the corner parcel,rather than adjacent Towne?
What if the $$$$ paid for a hair salon,other speculative forces,aspirations had been lessened, so that a certain 'lessened' "Scale" could have been accommodated? Gosh, why a big chunk of the corner property might in fact have escaped consignment to parking Slot.

(* for instance) On the other hand,roof top live music,well in the wee morning hours,scientifically attenuated noise disruption reduction,would have been cool.Who knew?! "Scale" and 'Parking' drove the outcome.

Could we muster yet another MM scale development at the Shoppes,or was MM  the race for what was left?
Tragedy Of The Commons? 
The great thing is,other than about a three block circle,for the vast majority of RAP land owners who comprise the RAP area majority land use designation (**),none of what goes on at the Shoppes really matters as far as direct negative impacts.

Above all,I thank The Know Growth God I never did buy that house on Pine Street.


 ;)
 8)

(**) Residential

stephendare

June 02, 2014, 10:05:58 PM
well perhaps there is something available back in North Miami, the old hometown?

Know Growth

June 02, 2014, 10:26:29 PM
well perhaps there is something available back in North Miami, the old hometown?

North Miami was a good education.Lucky Me!



MEGATRON

June 03, 2014, 09:11:00 AM
Well, this is an interesting complaint.  Not kid friendly, despite the place packed with families at supper time.
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