Rumor Mill: Mellow Mushroom Pizza to Close

Sorry we're closedWord on the street is that Mellow Mushroom Pizza at 1411 Northwest Flanders Street in Portland is closing its doors on Sunday, 4/13. An internet search shows that the building is for sale. According to the rumor mill, it will reopen under a new owner as a 10 Barrel Brewing concept.

Mellow Mushroom is a national chain that expanded rapidly during 2011 – 2013, opening the first west coast branch in Portland’s Pearl District in October 2011. At the time, owner Jim Warren stated, “We found a city that fits who we are to a “T”. The city of Portland and Mellow Mushroom both encompass diverse cultural offerings, fantastic food, along with creativity and art.”

Despite their optimism, I think the physical location has been an issue from the start. It has high visibility to the constant traffic along NW 14th Avenue, but at the same time, there is limited parking on their side of the street, and no easy access from the other side – the nearest crosswalk is a few blocks down. Those issues, added to an equation of just a slightly better than average chain pizza, may not have made it quite as good a fit in the Pearl as the owner may have envisioned.

I’ve never heard of 10 Barrel Brewing, but a quick web search shows that they currently have two branches; one in Bend Oregon and the other in Boise Idaho. [Commenters on this post say that they are a terrific pub/brewery] Perhaps with an emphasis on beer, they will be a better fit for the site, though beer and a heavily trafficked intersection with no crosswalks. What could go wrong?

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. Trevor says

    Shocking you are a foodie living in Oregon and have never heard of 10 Barrel…. One of the best craft breweries in the state for several years now……

    • says

      Shocking! Shocking, I tell you! Actually, I don’t consider myself a “foodie” – it’s a stupid word if you ask me, and secondly, while I enjoy a good dark beer now and then, given a choice, 90% of the time I’d much rather have wine. The only thing I’ve ever done in bend is change directions.

  2. Tracy Thomas says

    I will cross my fingers and toes for this rumor to be true. 10 Barrel Brewing makes some of the best beer in Oregon these days. I’ve heard that their Bend pub is a great place to hang out, and have wished for a while that they’d open something in Portland. I think 10 Barrel would draw people to the location no matter the bad site logistics,

  3. Tom says

    While I hate the term “foodie” and think Trevor’s tone exemplifies why I’m not a fan of that term I have to agree with him regarding the quality of their brews. Hope it’s true…

  4. Matt says

    10 Barrel’s pub in Bend is an experience. They have good up-scale pub fare, a fantastic beer selection and a nice, relaxed atmosphere. If they do something anywhere near as compelling with the Pearl site, it’ll be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

  5. says

    I was a beer tasting yesterday featuring 10 Barrel. Their regional sales rep said that they would love to expand into Portland. And they would be a great addition to the area too I think. With GABF award winning Fat Heads opening nearby this year, Deschutes (the 6th highest producing craft brewer in the country) and Rogue all within blocks of each other, one needn’t even cross the river.

    Mellow Mushroom suffers from the same problem that other megaplex brewpubs have: lack of turnover. A few weeks ago MM had a *pumpkin* beer on tap. It’s spring in PDX! I mistakenly ordered a Saison duPont to toast the sunshine and had to spit the first sip back into the glass.

  6. says

    10 barrel is known for their beer and will be competitive with their neighbors in that respect. their pizza and salads are excellent if they match the product in bend.

    looking fwd to gettng use out of the space finally!

  7. matt says

    Their pizza definitely isn’t anything special… and their branding is a bit too hippy for portland. They’d do better in Eugene. 10 Barrel is in my top 3 breweries in the state, so I’d love to see something from them in Portland.

  8. Local says

    Mellow also suffers from a service, and selection issue. They are ungodly slow. Something that no doubt turns off the office building employee’s(500 people) right next door. Also there is a real lack of a healthier alternative(besides salad) on the menu. You can’t eat pizza and high calorie subs every day.

  9. Sellwood Mafia says

    RE: 10 Barrel… I was served the worst Reuben of my life at their Bend location back in Aug ’13. It should have never of come out of the kitchen, the waitstaff (after being told of the matter) had no intention (or wasn’t trained) on making the situation right, and it stayed on our bill…

    They were packed – so they must do something right? I assume their business model is: if our patrons swill enough decent beer they’ll choke down anything.

    • says

      Uh, yeah. To wit: Rogue. Bad food is so commonplace in breweries that it’s almost a cliche.

      So, yes, I will go anywhere and tolerate anything (bad food and/or service) in search of good beer.

  10. Mellow Fan says

    Looks like I may be the lone sole that loved Mellow and am sadden/upset by the news. I visit Mellow pretty regularly on Saturdays and I can say they were always busy so I am a bit surprised by the news. If 10 Barrel is any good at all I welcome the chance to try it out but if it was up to me it wouldn’t be at the expense of seeing Mellow, and most importantly the folks working there that I have come to know as friends, disappear.

  11. Todd says

    You write for this website, and presumably live in the area, yet you never heard of 10 Barrel? Well boy, I have to tell you about this great wine! It’s called Pinot Noir!

    • says

      Feh, to each his own. Thankfully, we live in a region where beer geeks, cocktail nerds and winos all have a plethora of wonderful options to choose from. None of us go thirsty!

  12. Jehnee says

    Today I received a letter from the Mello manager notifying me of their closure and asking if we might be hiring on behalf of their employees. Such a kind and thoughtful gesture, Wishing the best of luck to them!

  13. says

    I think I only went to MM once, so I don’t really have an opinion. I do love 10 Barrel and love that they will be here in Portland. I agree with Sudsista we might have to tolerate bar food, but we will be getting some great beer.

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