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Local restaurateur bringing Mellow Mushroom to Riverside

The disused gas station in the center of the Shoppes of Avondale is to be the site of a new Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers. Local restaurateur John Valentino is bringing the restaurant to Riverside Avondale in fulfillment of a long-held personal dream of serving premium pizza in the neighborhood in which he was born and raised.

The restaurant will occupy the space at the corner of St. Johns Avenue and Ingleside Avenue currently inhabited by the former gas station, ’town restaurant and the Emly Benham shoe store. Urban in-fill specialist Design Cooperative has been commissioned to manage the revitalization of the space, which will include new parking and outdoor seating. Emly Benham will move to new premises across the street, while ‘town is expected to move to a new location in the summer.

Valentino, who was born at the former Riverside Hospital, was made aware of the opportunity to obtain both the shoe store/’town building and the gas station when Emly Benham President, Benham Purcell, alerted him to it. As Riverside natives, Purcell and Valentino have known each other for decades and both believe that Mellow Mushroom would be a particularly strong cultural fit in Riverside Avondale.

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