New restaurant hopes to make some "dough" in Avondale

By Nicole Johnson  bio | email | Twitter

WEST ASHLEY (WCSC) - A slice of the economic boom a West Ashley neighborhood. The Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant is now the newest neighbor in Avondale off Savannah Highway on Magnolia Road.

A little bit of dough is helping some young entrepreneurs go a long way. Three partners including Michael Shemtov, chose to open the new Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant in the growing Avondale area of West Ashley.

"We like the walking nature of it. We like a lot of residents around here walk to businesses. We think it has great energy. We really hope to be part of the community," said Shemtov.

Businesses that have sprouted in the area in the past year include Oak Barrel Tavern, Greenway Studio Art Gallery, and coming soon is The Clubhouse.

Alchemy Coffee business owner Janie Mallard opened her shop around the time the economy tanked in 2008, but she says her coffee has kept her going.

"The most important thing when you're a business owner is to try to build community. I think that Avondale has struggled to do that. I think it's finally coming together. A lot of people consider Mellow Mushroom an anchor store," said Mallard.

It's a common sight here in Avondale, all the parking places are packed, and if you get a spot like this consider yourself lucky. But now the parking problems could be a thing of the past.

Complimentary valet parking is will available starting this weekend, Thursdays through Sundays. Mellow Mushroom was part of the group of business owners involved bringing in valet, since it is the new shop on the block.

"The more restaurants and bars you have in an area, the more appealing it is for customers to come. One of our neighbors actually told us every time it sees a new restaurant, they've seen their sales go up. Everyone's been very welcoming," said Shemtov.

The valet parking applies to the entire Avondale Business District, not just Mellow Mushroom customers. The restaurant expected to create 70 to 100 jobs in the Lowcountry. The owners of Mellow Mushroom renovated the Avondale space from an old single screen movie theatre. The restaurant "baked in the oven" for nine months before it was ready to open. It will be open to the public on Monday.

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