By Cheyanne Wingo | email@example.com
Walking down St. George Street on any given night, one can hear the sounds of guitar riffs and live music coming from seemingly every direction. While St. Augustine is famous for it’s historical landmarks and tourist attractions, live music is arguably the heartbeat of the Nation’s Oldest City.
There are a multitude of venues available for the many talented musicians that call St. Augustine home. However, much of the live music scene is located downtown, a prime location to lure passersby into local pubs and restaurants with harmonious tunes. When local entrepreneur Matt Strickland prepared to launch his latest business venture, Mellow Mushroom, his intentions were to bring the local music scene beach side.
The brand is centered on the hippie counter-culture of the 70’s, and was founded when two pizza guys quit their jobs to follow live music. After acquiring financial backing, they settled down in Atlanta. According to the company’s website, the founders “saw pizza baking as an art form, and wanted to bring joy to others by exercising their art.”
With a love of live music and good pizza as a foundation, the St. Augustine Mellow Mushroom opened it’s doors in June of 2013.
“Music influences my entire life, and the fact that I could build a restaurant around the music I love was a huge incentive to begin my franchise relationship with the Mellow brand,” Strickland said.
Upon entering the restaurant, Strickland’s love of music is apparent. One wall features a life-like portrait of Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead made entirely out of recycled denim. Another wall is adorned with an intricately detailed mosaic of Widepread Panic’s Michael Houser. There are photographs paying tribute to The Tedeschi Trucks Band, a portrait of “Simple Man” Ronnie Van Zant, and a mural over the bar depicting a verse from Neil Young’s Cortez the Killer.
Upon opening, Mellow Mushroom hosted local superstars such as Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, The Corbitt Brothers and the Ivey-West Band.
“While it was so much fun to have giant jam sessions with these bands, we decided it would be better for both the patrons and the artists to allow local musicians share their music in a more intimate setting,” said General Manager Louie Boulier.
Currently, Mellow Mushroom hosts live music on Thursday nights from 6-9 pm, Friday from 8-11:30 pm, and Saturday from 6-10pm. Artists interested in booking gigs can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (904) 826-4040