On Feb. 1, 2017, a new business officially opened on South Main Street in downtown Blacksburg. Brownstone Barber Shop, which technically opened its doors to customers in late December 2016, held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate their success thus far and announce themselves to the public.
Co-owner Patti Schrantz, a master barber for 34 years, and her three coworkers left Sports Clips to start Brownstone and get out of the corporate world. “We got really tired of the corporate setting. So we decided to make this LLC and formed the barber shop from there,” Schrantz said.
Being something new and different is not the only reason that Schrantz founded Brownstone. She wanted to help the local economy by keeping the tax dollars in Blacksburg as well as helping residents participate in the downtown Blacksburg loyalty card program. According to the downtown Blacksburg website, the card program encourages customers to shop local by rewarding them with a five dollar gift card to a local business, when they make purchases at five different local businesses.
Adam Workman, assistant vice president at First Citizens Bank and ambassador for the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, agreed that local businesses like this are crucial for the local economy. “It creates a community atmosphere. The more diversity we have in our community, the better we’re going to be. So having a business, like the barber shop here, in downtown Blacksburg, makes it more attractive.”
Brownstone Barber Shop is located at 301 S. Main Street next to Mellow Mushroom.
Blacksburg, Va., Feb. 1 – Walk Ins Welcome: Appointmens for hair cuts can be made online or over the phone, but Brownstone invites customers to walk in for an unscheduled appointment as well. Photo: Stephen Dixon
Blacksburg, Va., Feb. 1 – Patti Schrantz, co-owner of Brownstone, finishes cutting a customer’s hair before the ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo: Stephen Dixon
Blacksburg, Va., Feb. 1 – Manly Atmosphere: In place of the typical countertops used in most barber shops, the barbers at Brownstone prefer toolboxes, which provide a more masculine feel for their customers. Photo: Stephen Dixon
Blacksburg, Va., Feb. 1 – Eat Up: After the ribbon cutting ceremony, guests were invited to enjoy a smorgasbord of homemade food prepared by the employees. Photo: Stephen Dixon
Blacksburg, Va., Feb. 1 – Mayor Fun: The Mayor of Blacksburg Ron Rordam has a little fun with the ceremonial big scizzors as he pretends to cut a customer’s hair. Photo: Stephen Dixon
Blacksburg, Va., Feb. 1 – It’s Official: Brownstone Barber Shop officially announces it’s opening as Mayor Ron Rordam cuts the ribbon in front of the business. Photo: Stephen Dixon
Blacksburg, Va., Feb. 1 – Small Talk: Co-owner Patti Schrantz and Mayor Ron Rordam chat in front of the shop after the ceremony. Photo: Stephen Dixon
Blacksburg, Va., Feb. 1 – All Smiles: Adam Workman, an abassador for the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, cannot contain his excitement for a new business to be opened in downtown Blacksburg. Photo: Stephen Dixon
Roanoke-area residents aren’t so mellow about the new restaurant coming to town. In fact, most are ecstatic.
On a gray stretch of Franklin Road, Mellow Mushroom is adding a bit of color.
The eclectic pizza joint, which will open its doors in Roanoke on Oct. 24, has amassed more attention than average for a new restaurant in the Roanoke Valley. Its “Mellow Mushroom Roanoke” Facebook page has already garnered almost 6,500 likes. That’s almost 1,000 more likes than an already-established “Mellow Mushroom Blacksburg” Facebook page, which has been open for nearly two years.
Not only are Roanokers “liking” the page; they are being vocal about their excitement too.
“Are there Mellow Mushroom Christmas ornaments?” Stephanie Murray of Roanoke wrote in an Oct. 4 post on Mellow Mushroom Roanoke’s Facebook page.
More than 10 pizza joints already exist in the Roanoke Valley. So why is this one of the most talked-about restaurant chains to come to Roanoke in the last year?
“There are so many pizza joints around town that sort of get drowned out,” said Roanoke resident Ken Misco. “Mellow Mushroom is making an effort to stand out both visually as an establishment and with their menu.”
Misco has lived in Roanoke for over 30 years and considers himself a “Valley foodie.” He says he hasn’t seen a chain with this much character come to Roanoke during his time here, adding that the uniqueness of the building alone may be what is reeling so many people in.
The newly constructed building sits in the parking lot of Carilion Clinic outpatient center in the 2300 block of Franklin Road. A mural was painted on the side of the building in colors of purple, yellow, blue, red and pink. The inside will feature diner-style booths and a wall stacked to the ceiling with beer cans. An outdoor patio will be warmed by a fire pit, something of a rarity in Roanoke restaurants.
But the inside is just as special as the outside. Mellow Mushroom offers 40 on-tap beers and a menu filled with original pizza creations with names like the “Funky Q. Chicken” or the “Kosmic Karma.” According to its menu, you’ll have to go the “Create-Your-Own” route if you want just a simple pepperoni pizza.
It will be one of few restaurants in the area that caters to vegan and gluten-free diets.
“It’ll be nice to have [a pizza joint] that brings something different to the table,” Misco said.
ROANOKE, Oct. 4 – MELLOW MUSHROOM: The new restaurant will open its doors on a busy Franklin Road on Oct. 24. Photo: Katelin Frosell
ROANOKE, Oct. 4 – MELLOW MUSHROOM: Beer cans are stacked from floor to ceiling against a wall in the new building. Photo: Katelin Frosell
ROANOKE, Oct. 4 – MELLOW MUSHROOM: The restaurant chain is known for its retro-esque decor. Photo: Katelin Frosell
ROANOKE, Oct. 4 – MELLOW MUSHROOM: An eclectic chandelier provides a funky atmosphere for the restaurant. Photo: Katelin Frosell
ROANOKE, Oct. 4 – MELLOW MUSHROOM: The mural painted on the outside of the building features colors of pinks, purples, yellows and blues. Photo: Katelin Frosell
ROANOKE, Oct. 4 – MELLOW MUSHROOM: The pizzeria’s 70s-inspired bar will feature 40 beers on tap. Photo: Katelin Frosell
ROANOKE, Oct. 4 – MELLOW MUSHROOM: The restaurent features diner-styled booths. Photo: Katelin Frosell
ROANOKE, Oct. 4 – MELLOW MUSHROOM: Something of rarity in Roanoke, Mellow Mushroom will feature a fire pit in the outdoor seating area. Photo: Katelin Frosell