I got a couple of responses to what I wrote about the Mellow Mushroom coming to South Elm:
Ed Cone wrote that "Greensboro is not Mayberry." Irrefutable!
I've got no problem with downtown Greensboro growing and changing, though you might not get that message from my post. To clarify: my worry is that South Elm's distinctive, local flavor will be lost to architectural and commercial generica.
So I was really happy to get an e-mail from the Mellow Mushroom's owner, Jim Waters. He wrote,
Those are heartening words, because South Elm is already an architectural treasure.
The store in Greensboro will take into consideration (and respect) the character of the neighborhood and hopefully expand on it. It will have a completely different look than the WS store. When the time comes I'll send you a rendering of the Greensboro store and would welcome your comments. I'll be shocked if we bring a chain feel to the area; that is not why we are heading there.
In the meantime, keep us (and the rest of Downtown Greensboro) on our toes!
We have a vision for 609 S. Elm that I hope comes together will blow people away. We are looking for a "bohemian cathedral" feel that will take advantage of all the windows on the south side of the building. We'll see what this all means when we get there.
For what it is worth, we do our fair share to support local art and music and often lay low, take our punches on any dissent and then see if the views change once we deliver our product.
Mr. Waters sent some photos of the Mellow Mushroom in Winston-Salem:
To me, The sleek, almost retro- modernism of the WS store looks appropriate for its context. It will be interesting to see what the Greensboro store will look like.