The giant metal artwork outside is the first sign that inside the Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakery, diners will find a funky vibe.
"We've got the cactuses. We've got the mushrooms with the happiness cloud over. We have a mellow place," said Ali Danesh, owner of the new Stone Oak Mellow Mushroom, 115 N. Loop 1604.
The eatery is set to open its doors Monday, Jan. 14.
Danesh and his wife, Setareh Danesh, have been in the fast-food restaurant business for 25 years But last summer, the couple decided to uproot from Tennessee and move to San Antonio to launch their franchise.
"We were looking for a place to move with culture, community, with nice warm weather," Ali Danesh said. "We fell in love with the city."
Pizza places are plentiful, but what makes this one unique, according to Danesh, is the dough, the sauce and the atmosphere.
The murals and metal sculptures give the place a psychedelic Texas space cowboy flavor.
To prepare for opening day, employees were in training, creating specialty pizzas like the Kosmic Karma, Thai Dye and Magical Mystery Tour.
The menu also features calzone, hoagies, vegan and gluten-free dishes.
The full-service bar will also have a couple dozen craft beers as requested on the eatery's Facebook page.
Launching a new business in today's economic climate comes with a slice or two of stress.
"I'm nervous and excited," Danesh said of his opening day.
So far, he said he has hired 110 people and hopes to hire more when he opens a second site in a year or so.
"I believe the economy is getting better," he said. "I'm hoping we can be a part of making it better."