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Restaurant closing: Mellow Mushroom in Fort Lauderdale will shutter this week

The Mellow Mushroom in Fort Lauderdale apparently was a bit too mellow when it came to recent business. Employees have been informed that the pizza restaurant will shut later this week, after a three-year run.

An executive at the chain’s Atlanta headquarters confirmed the store’s closing and said other South Florida locations — in Delray Beach, Wellington and West Palm Beach — would remain open. A Miami location closed in 2016.

The Fort Lauderdale location opened in May 2015 in the retail shops of the Manor at Flagler Village apartment complex along North Federal Highway. Even though the area is booming, increased competition from new restaurants and parking difficulties spelled trouble for the eatery.

The first Mellow Mushroom opened in Atlanta in 1974, started by two Georgia Tech graduates, and the restaurants became popular in college towns in the South. The chain features a hippie vibe, a pizzamobile known as “the Bake Bus,” and specialty pizzas such as the “Kosmic Karma”, the “Veg Out” and “Holy Shiitake.” The chain grew to more than 200 locations by 2015, according to Business Insider, but lately has seen some contraction. Other Mellow Mushrooms have closed in the past two years in Texas, Kentucky, Colorado and Alabama.

The Fort Lauderdale Mellow Mushroom Facebook page did not mention the closing as of Tuesday afternoon, and earlier in the day it posted an item about gluten-free pizza. A glum-sounding worker who answered the phone at the Fort Lauderdale restaurant Tuesday said that “corporate was coming in” to handle the closing. Fort Lauderdale franchise owners Eric Wilson and Louis Elosta could not be reached despite phone messages.

mmayo@southflorida.com, 954-356-4508. Follow my food adventures on Instagram: @mikemayoeats. Sign up for my weekly dining newsletter at SouthFlorida.com/EatBeatMail.

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