Located on the ground floor of a new commercial building in a developing area of downtown Fredericksburg, VA; this new 4,650 square foot Mellow Mushroom offers an eclectic dining experience that combines features of a deconstructed warehouse with elements of art and found objects. Organized around a large, poured-in-place concrete serpentine bar, the guest experience begins at the main entrance where a set of reclaimed doors are combined with stained glass panels to create a one-of-a-kind first impression. A custom hostess booth made of dimensional wood – sandwiched and painted – creates an organic sculptural element that sets the tone for the space. Serving as the backdrop for the entire restaurant, a large mural painted on site by artist Michael Brock is a colorful focal point that includes cultural elements unique to the region.
Also at the entrance, a white oak “promenade” wraps the wall and guides customers through the restaurant, curving through the space in a way that mimics the shape of the bar. Flooring changes reinforce this flow, with hexagonal tiles in the bar area interwoven with the oak planks. The curved bar features painted dowels and electrical conduit, further expressing the found object approach while enhancing the fluidity of form. Above the head, the warehouse windows are glued together to create a defined area for the bar, the elements of which are duplicated in the custom bar shelves. Leather fixtures complete the rustic, industrial look.
As the walk continues through the space, custom tables made of construction-grade oriented strand board (OSB) are brightly painted and coated with a smooth epoxy finish. A row of custom OSB banquet seating is separated from the kitchen passage with standard concrete blocks, custom with painted interiors. The adjacent kitchen passageway is sheathed in corrugated iron, painted with a lenticular technique so that the form appears in different colors on either side of the restaurant. Organic corrugated pendant lights contrast with repurposed industrial warehouse fixtures, adding to the layers of design. Crowning this space is an assemblage of antique lettered light fixtures and a custom painted bust of Uncle Sam, reinforcing the Mellow Mushroom brand. The walk continues through the main dining hall and ends at the delivery station. In this area, large circular dining tables are made from cart wheels with mechanical gears encased in epoxy. The large fixture is assembled from industrial warehouse pallets sandwiched with globe fixtures. The custom piece is wrapped in electrical cords to form an “M”.
An adjacent patio dining room offers all-weather dining and bar access, separated by an operable sliding partition. The enclosed patio was an addition to the building and a stamped concrete floor delineates the spaces. Colorful red tiles around the perimeter serve as a backdrop for multicolored chairs and wooden tables. Natural light floods the space through operable windows, allowing cool air in on hot days.