Category Archives: The Shorthorn

A ’70s-themed Mellow Mushroom has sprouted in downtown Arlington

When people see the lava lamps, the tie-dyed shirts and the name “Mellow Mushroom” on the top of the building, they may confuse this pizza parlor for a psychedelic store.

“I like the fact that some people question the atmosphere and the name right off the bat when they see it,” owner Montie Slawson said. “They don’t realize that it’s some of the best pizzas you can ever eat.”

Montie Slawson and his wife, Kim Slawson, own the 1970s inspired Mellow Mushroom in Arlington, which opened Sept. 5 on the corner of Front and Center streets.

They also own the Fort Worth location, which was the first Mellow Mushroom in Texas.

The Slawsons, who grew up in Grand Prairie, remembered cruising up and down Cooper and Mitchell streets in the 1980s when they thought about building a location in Arlington.

“We just figured this was going to be the best spot,” Montie Slawson said.

Every Mellow Mushroom has the same ingredients in the pizza, hoagies, and appetizers — but each restaurant, including the new location in downtown Arlington, offers a different ambiance.

“Every Mellow Mushroom you go to in the country is going to have its own unique atmosphere, but it’s still going to keep with the Mellow Mushroom’s peace, love and happiness decor,” service manager Tiffany Alderson said.

Montie Slawson said the Fort Worth location has a “hippie-chic meets hacienda” look with a lot of wood and a homier feel.

They wanted to keep the same ’70s theme in the Arlington location, but with a more updated look.

“I wanted a more futuristic, space-shippy type look, and that’s what we went with,” Montie Slawson said.

The dining room is consumed with color as rainbow squares pave a path on the floor of the entryway, lava lamps and mushroom art adorn the walls and servers walk around in brightly tie-dyed shirts.

The theme carries on to the name of the pizzas, including Kosmic Karma, Funky Q Chicken, and Philosopher’s Pie.

A hippie-styled theme may set the mood for the Arlington location, but Alderson said it’s the food that makes Mellow Mushroom one-of-a-kind.

Mellow Mushroom is one of the few pizza restaurants to offer vegan-friendly ingredients and gluten-free dough.

“Our dough separates us from any other pizza place in the world,” Alderson said as she listed off unrefined flour, molasses, wheat germ, and fresh Georgia spring water as the ingredients.

Tatiyana Kellough, undeclared sophomore and server, said she likes the dietary options the restaurant offers.

“I think it’s awesome. I’m a vegan and this is like the closest vegan place to campus,” Kellough said.

Ronnie Venable, international business sophomore and server, said she likes that the corporate office seems very “laissez-faire” about how individual stores are run.

“It’s pretty laid back, and the owners are really involved,” Venable said, adding that the owners would help with a task as small as moving a trash can. “They really care about how things run.”

Courtesy of The Shorthorn

September 8, 2011

Full article here

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Community rallies for children of victims in roller rink shooting

A radio station, a movie theater, and a roller rink. These things would normally not be grouped together, but their employees worked to help a family in need when a tragedy tugged at the heart strings of a community.

Radio personality Adam Bomb, host of the Adam Bomb Show on KLIF-FM, heard about the July shooting at Forum Roller World in Grand Prairie that left a daughter and son without their parents.

Tran Do, husband of UTA employee Trini Do, opened fire during his son’s 11th birthday party at the roller rink, killing himself and five other family members.

The children are now staying with family in Texas. Bomb knew he had to help.

“I heard about the children and what happened about a couple of weeks ago, and then I went directly to the program director, John Foxx, and the promotions director, Vanessa Thill,” Bomb said. “

We wanted to do something somewhere.”

So, the radio station worked with Studio Movie Grill in Arlington to raise money for the children. The theater presented early-morning movies on Aug. 13 and donated all the proceeds to the fundraiser.

Bomb said that approximately 500 people showed up and more than $1000 was raised for the family — but it didn’t end there.

Walt Hedrick, the owner of Forum Roller World, heard what Bomb and the theater were doing for the children and wanted to do his part support the cause.

“I just feel like being left without two parents, they are going to have a hard life, and we’re just trying to create something that they can use for a college education,” Hedrick said.

A week after the charity event at Studio Movie Grill, KLIF-FM partnered with the roller rink to raise more money for the children. He said the family was amazed to have any fundraiser held for them.

“They were shocked that anybody took any notice to them,” Bomb said. “The first thing they said was, ‘Wow, we didn’t know anybody cared or paid attention.’ People paid attention.”

Marketing junior Ryan Stielher works for KLIF-FM and was at Forum Roller World for the fundraiser. He said the shooting in July shocked him, but he was happy to be helping the family.

“I’m honored to be a part of the event,” Stiehler said. “I love the fact that the radio station is in support of the cause.”

Though the radio station hasn’t planned any more events as of publication, donations can still be made to the family.

Tarrant County Commissioner Andy Nguyen stepped in soon after the tragedy to encourage the community to help the children.

“Commissioner Nguyen recognized a need for these children, so he began making some calls and working with attorneys to set up a trust fund for the children,” assistant precinct administrator Kelly Rodriguez said. “They deserve a chance at a good life.”

Donors can contribute to the fund, called the Paul and Anna Do Trust, by visiting anyChase Bank location and asking to make a donation. Rodriguez said the exact amount donated to the trust fund is unknown because donors contribute at any given time, but she knows that one donation was an estimated $30,000.

Engineering junior Si Nguyen was a friend of Michelle Ta, UTA employee and Trini Do’s sister, who was also killed in the shooting. He said the charity events were a great idea.

“I was really happy when I found out that they were holding it for the children,” Si Ngyuen said of the event at Studio Movie Grill.

Si Nguyen said that the family and himself are still in the process of healing, but things are getting better.

“At first, it was pretty sad, but now I know that she’s in a better place so she won’t have to worry about anything,” Nguyen said. “It was pretty devastating at first, but now everything seems to be OK.”

Courtesy of The Shorthorn

August 30 2011

Full article here


Ghengis Khan exhibit conquers Irving Arts Center

In a small stage setting surrounded by 13th century artifacts and curious spectators, a Mongolian dance troupe performs traditional dances to ethnic music in brightly colored costumes. As they elegantly spin and jump, the dancers demonstrate what they understand to be the significance of the historical collection.

The dance troupe, composed of students originally from Mongolia, is

performing until Sept. 1 at Genghis Khan: The Exhibition in the Irving Arts Center. The exhibit includes Mongolian artifacts, small-scale weapon demonstrations, performances and video screens.

The legacy of Genghis Khan is not only evident in Mongolia. His empire’s influence is seen around the world, some historians say.

“The importance of the Mongols is that they ushered in global history,” exhibit cultural consultant Morris Rossabi said. “The greatest contacts occurred during the reign of Khubilai Khan, [Genghis Khan’s] grandson.”

Rossabi said during Khubilai Khan’s reign, the Mongols made their first contact with Europe and China, which “would have tremendous ramifications on science, philosophy and the arts” around the world.

The artifacts range from eccentric musical instruments to colorful robes, including an original diplomatic passport on display — an item that was pioneered at the time of the Mongolian Empire.

Visitors learn that Khan also introduced items still in use today such as pants, paper money, eyeglasses and forks.

The entire exhibit is kept chilly to appease the needs of the mummy known as “The Princess Giant.” She is believed to be an unusually tall noblewoman whose remains were found in a Mongolian cave. Her robes, casket and belongings suggest she was a prominent woman.

Following “The Princess Giant” is a look into the life of a warrior. Volunteers demonstrate the uses of a bow and catapult in front of full scale models of a trebuchet and triple-bow siege crossbow.

Toward the end of the exhibit, the dancers take turns performing in front of an audience of all ages. The dancers imitate animals, warriors and other aspects of their native culture.

“Dance is a big part of the Mongolian culture,” Arslanbaatar said. “In nomadic life, there’s also some spare time, so you bring out your instrument and start playing or start dancing.”

Enkhzaya Myamochir, 16, added that remembering Mongolian culture extends to the home life.

“We celebrate holidays and any type of ritual we have. We’d always keep them lively,” Myamochir said. “We try not to forget our culture as much as we can.”

Courtesy of The Shorthorn

August 23, 2011

Full article here