The incoming Mellow Mushroom is on track in its process of opening later this year, according to Leslie Knapp, the owner of the Blacksburg franchise and Tech alumna.
The announcement came out last spring that the lot left vacant following Backstreets’ closing would be repurposed by a new pizza restaurant, Mellow Mushroom.
Knapp says the owners are expecting the demolition of the old restaurant to begin somewhere between late September and early October. Once demolition is complete, construction should begin immediately, and they are hoping to “get started before the cold winter months, because (they) don’t want to be stalled by that.”
With that timeline, Knapp still anticipates for the restaurant to be open by spring 2014, as originally scheduled, though there is no hard date available at this time. She assured that once the demolition begins, construction should get moving quickly.
Before demolition can begin, the franchise has to get final approval on its architectural and design plans from the Town of Blacksburg.
“We are kind of in a holding pattern still as far awaiting approval from Blacksburg,” Knapp says. “Final approval on plans have been submitted, and that seems to be going pretty smoothly.”
After the Mellow Mushroom’s corporate backing approved the architectural plans, they were sent to Blacksburg, which gives plans a necessary amount of scrutiny.
“We want them to be thorough because we don’t want issues down the road,” Knapp said. “They’re looking at lighting and everything else so that Blacksburg remains consistent.”
Knapp says there is only a small amount of time left before the Town will decide on the approval, but that the cooperation between the designers and the Town has been smooth sailing.
“The process since day one has been wonderful, and my architect has built a wonderful relationship with them as well,” Knapp said. “They are taking the time that they’re allotted and we appreciate it, and I know people are very anxious but it’s just a process we have to go through.”