Options for Vertical Transportation in the Wake of COVID-19

by Jennifer M. Bobbitt

As we cautiously emerge from our COVID-19 cocoons and individually expand our level of comfort in public settings, there are a few areas we may find ourselves stuck and confused about what to do. According to a recent article in NJ.com titled, “Elevators are a claustrophobic coronavirus nightmare. There may be new rules for riding them,” there are currently no state guidelines on elevators, nor does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer any guidelines. This means if there is no direction provided, you are left to decide whether to board the elevator that could fill up with people and their germs, take the stairs, or hold your breath and hope others around you are doing the same.

By now, we’ve all heard the recommendations about maintaining a safe six-foot distance from others to avoid the possibility of spreading respiratory particles. With the average size of an elevator at six to seven feet wide and deep, you can quickly do the math and figure out that there is not much wiggle room to provide the safe space between multiple patrons. It’s also unrealistic to believe that everyone will follow the same protocol as you, whether in the elevator cab or the queuing lobby area. With an estimated 900,000 elevators in the United States and so many opportunities for breathing, sneezing, and coughing in a closed space, what do you do to stay safe and keep your building occupants safe in the age of the current pandemic?

According to Wellogy (formerly Davis Wince, Ltd.) Architect and Principal Julie Delos Santos, there are many options to explore, and it depends on the size of your building and the number of cars you have running. Delos Santos should know, in the past 20 years with the firm; she has made quite a name for herself as the go-to elevator resource. From the modernization of historic elevators at the Moyer Judicial Center, which houses The Supreme Court of Ohio, to the Bureau of Workers Compensation Elevator Modernization and numerous service and passenger elevator modernizations, Julie has managed projects to modernize over 75 elevators, including 24 with Destination Dispatch capabilities.

Wellogy and elevator consultant Lerch Bates have worked on multiple projects together. They have proven themselves as valuable problem solvers when faced with a myriad of elevator challenges, like the current ones posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Delos Santos is currently working with Lerch Bates on an elevator modernization project at The Ohio State University but points to the completion of another recent project as a possible safe spacing solution for large buildings. The Vern Riffe Destination Dispatch Elevator Modernization is the best example of creating an efficient and safer elevator experience, both now and in the future, according to Delos Santos.

The Vern Riffe State Office Tower houses the Ohio Governor’s office, at the heart of the COVID-19 task force. The 32-story building was completed in 1988 before the Destination Dispatch system was an available option. Wellogy led the multi-phased modernization of 18 elevators and their respective machine rooms. All work is being completed in the fully occupied high rise office building. The design team worked closely with the Owner to phase the work in such a manner to minimize any impact to the building occupants. According to Delos Santos, “We are currently looking at options that the new Destination Dispatch (DD) system can provide to aide in social distancing for vertical transportation. There are several social distancing options related to this system.”

What is the Destination Dispatch system, and why is it a good option for buildings moving forward or upward?

The Destination Dispatch system groups passengers together by the same destination. So instead of pressing the up or down button, you will push the button for the floor you wish to go to, or in some cases, swipe a card and therefore creating a touchless system. The system will then direct you to a specific car in the elevator line-up, where you join others going to the same or adjacent floors, decreasing the number of stops for each trip. There are no buttons in the elevator that need to be pushed.

The system can also be adjusted to limit the number of patrons in a car going to a particular floor. An example would be if three people want to go to the 5th floor, they would be directed to go to elevator A. The next three patrons also going to the 5th floor might be directed to elevator B, and so on. According to Delos Santos, this might cause another issue with an increased queue in the elevator lobby. However, there are multiple ways to address this. The building operations may shift to create a system for social distancing in the lobbies, or perhaps the building occupants are assigned to staggered work hours to minimize peak times. Traffic studies can help to provide direction. “That’s where we have to get creative and add in more direction and signage,” according to Delos Santos, who admits to problem-solving elevator challenges in her sleep. “It is more difficult for vertical transportation that does not have the Destination Dispatch system. For a typical elevator system, it would be helpful to mimic some of the DD system features,” Delos Santos said.

The installation of the Destination Dispatch system not only allows for better occupant spacing but an overall increased efficiency of the elevators. If implemented in a new building, the DD system may allow for fewer elevators to service the same population compared to a typical dispatch system. It will also enable the Owner to adjust the security levels they would like to implement on specific cars in real-time.

Elevator Studies and Assessments are also a critical part of the equation. Delos Santos notes that a usage study and an assessment of your current elevator system can provide insight as to the best solution for your building. “The answers often reveal themselves, and when working with an elevator consultant and our engineering partners, we can quickly execute a solution to keep things moving up through the current pandemic and whatever new standards the future holds,” according to Delos Santos.

What are some other alternatives for smaller buildings and offices in lieu of a major renovation?

Delos Santos notes a host of new products coupled with directional signage and other operational changes. One option is staggering start and end times for employees to help reduce congestion in the cars as well as the lobby. Other options include the addition of ultraviolet rays (UV-C) technology. According to an article in Send2PressNewswire.com, UV-C light has been used for over 70 years to kill viruses. Directional signage can also be a useful tool when incorporated in the lobby and cars with circles placed on the elevator floor, indicating which direction to face for the best protection. Other options noted in a recent NPR.org article, “The Office Elevator In COVID-19 Times: Experts Weigh in on Safer Ups and Downs,” includes using antiviral stickers for the elevator buttons or utilizing buttons that can be activated by your feet, and HVAC air purification systems. The article also recommends wearing a mask and using tissues or toothpicks to push buttons. According to Delos Santos, “There are options both large and small to help building owners manage the risk. It is important to assess your traffic patterns and work within your means to keep your building occupants safe in preparation for whatever lies ahead.”

6 Materials to Create a Healthier Environment

by Danielle King, IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED® GA

Perhaps you, like me, have become much more cautious of your environment as we move through new precautions due to COVID-19. Do you question what germs reside on that surface? Who touched this lever before me? How do I avoid touching the most common component of the door but still open it? What choices can we make in our environments that both ease our peace of mind and create a healthier atmosphere? A healthy interior space starts with healthy materials. Here are our picks for the top six healthy products that have created excitement amongst our design team…

1. Xorel ArtForm Panels

Benefit: Provides necessary acoustic properties as well as being bleach cleanable and red-list free.

2. Bradley’s WashBar Advantage

Benefit: Touchless soap + water + dryer fixtures ensure a cleansing process that is touch-free.

3. Chemetal Copper Laminate

Benefit: Studies have shown surfaces containing copper can slow the spread of acute respiratory diseases.

4. Fabrics with SiO silicone

Benefit: Inherent to bacterial growth and resistant to diluted bleach and most cleaners.

5. Shield’s solid surface casework

Benefit: Surfaces are durable, seamless, non-porous, and cleanable, thus the perfect solution for any healing environment.

6. Bradley Corp’s Verve 

Benefit: The cast-in-place quartz washbasin is seamless, non-porous, mold & mildew resistant, and resistant to household cleaners.

These are products I can get behind! Several of the products are also environmentally friendly. We are seeing a surge of healthy materials in the industry. As the demand for healthy products increases, so will the availability and choice. At Wellogy (formerly Davis Wince, Ltd.), our mission is to enrich people’s lives by creating places of well-being. This belief starts by specifying healthy materials. By selecting sustainable materials, we have a greater impact on the ingredients and processes that go into creating healthy spaces, and in turn, make for a healthier environment for all. Let’s get started, we have much to do to improve each and every space we inhabit.

Why We’re Turning our Offices into Blue Zones

by Jennifer M. Bobbitt

What are the Blue Zones? The term “Blue Zone” comes from Dan Buettner, author and National Geographic Fellow, who researches areas of the world where people live long healthy lives. His curiosity with those living into their 100’s led to the discovery of common themes in areas with high numbers of centenarians. Buettner and his team identified places in the world where there are high concentrations of those living over 100 and labeled them “Blue Zones.” What is it about those areas that encourage longevity, and why are we trying to recreate it in our Wellogy (formerly Davis Wince) offices?

“The Power 9” The research uncovered that the “secrets” to longevity aren’t secrets at all but simple, easy to obtain, and maintain lifestyle choices that, when put into action, can benefit people for a lifetime. Buettner brands the everyday lifestyle choices common among the Blue Zone regions as the “The Power 9”.

Wellogy thought it would be interesting to incorporate “The Power 9” into our office culture. Throughout the evolution of our firm, we’ve been exploring how to make a lasting impact and ignite change in health and wellness by rethinking the way we design communities, buildings, and homes. Our journey started when our design experience collided with our passion, and we discovered our purpose- To Create Places of Well Bing to Enrich People’s Lives. We accomplish this by incorporating intentionally designed elements that help communities thrive and proposer- a concept we call Healthy Urbanism™. To thoroughly explore our purpose, we decided to make healthy changes and support opportunities to learn more in the place where we spend our days- at work.

Following the Power 9 areas for improvement, we asked everyone to participate by taking a topic to research and present on at our weekly staff meeting. The presentations have been very informative, interactive, and all very unique.

Stretch time and standing desks in action in our Denver, CO office. Below: Wellogy President and Founding Principal, Buck Wince provides examples of office stretching.

Additionally, we asked a sample group from each office to take the Blue Zone True Vitality Test. According to the Blue Zone website, “calculates your life expectancy and how long you’ll stay healthy.” We also took the Blue Zone True Happiness Test “to improve your environment and maximize happiness.” The tests are based on leading scientific research and make recommendations to improve your well-being. We plan to retake the test at the end of our nine-week challenge to determine if we’ve improved our scores.  More important than the actual score, though, is the impact the changes are having on our day to day wellness. We’ve also explored the “The Blue Zone Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100” cookbook and shared recipes while encouraging healthy eating at our office Blue Zone breakfast.

Our monthly potluck/ cookouts focus on fresh and healthy foods.

From walking meetings, standing desks, stretching breaks, healthy snack options, and increased awareness of the benefits of plant-based diets, we have all learned something that we have taken home and incorporated into our daily lives. While we may not all live to be 100, working together to make changes to be better and create a healthier way of life for the next generation, benefits us all in hundreds of ways.

Can Architecture Affect Your Health?

by Jennifer M. Bobbitt

Can architecture affect your health? We passionately believe that it can. That’s why we’re working with partners engaged in designing a better way to live. From healthcare, senior housing, higher education, and our other market segments, the goals for each partnership are the same- to enhance and improve the quality of life by creating a new standard in the way we live and interact with the built environment.

We’re on a mission to incorporate elements of Healthy Urbanism™ into every project we deliver. What is Healthy Urbanism™? It’s the integration of intentionally designed elements that helps communities thrive and prosper. No matter what the size of the project, an impact occurs when the built environment is purposely designed for wellness, creating a ripple effect that places a priority on health. The result is a wellness-centered community with the potential for improved physical health, accessibility to medical care, healthy food, activity, and social interaction.

Our projects can be as broad as a surgery center in a new community to ensure better outcomes for its residents, and designing student dining halls with a focus on healthier choices, and as specific as designing buildings with sustainable materials that incorporate walking and bike paths to promote physical activity. At the heart of Healthy Urbanism™ is the drive to reimagine health by creating communities of wellness. We hope you’ll join us on the journey as we create places of well being to enrich people’s lives.

Wellogy designs Esports Arena at The Ohio State University

There’s a lot of buzz about the new Esports Arena designed by Wellogy (formerly Davis Wince, Ltd.) for The Ohio State University. Located in Lincoln Tower on the main campus, the arena supports the esports interdisciplinary curriculum that spans five colleges. The arena houses a room for competitive gaming with other universities as well as nearly 80 gaming computers, consoles, and virtual reality systems.

Inside the Design of a New Child Care Center

Wellogy (formerly Davis Wince, Ltd.) registered architect and principal, Matt Canterna, AIA is the architect and project manager for the New 18th Street Child Care Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH). The first phase of the design recently wrapped up construction and the facility is open to provide care for the children of NCH employees. To follow, Canterna provides insight and an “inside the design” overview of the many unique elements incorporated into this fun, fresh, and engaging facility for the pickiest of end-users.


The exterior design speaks to the brand and aesthetic of the growing NCH campus. The goal of the new facility is to be unique yet still convey the same sense of promise that every child and family feels when entering a NCH facility. A challenge was matching our two-story building to the look and feel of the campus composed predominantly of high-rise buildings. The solution was to use two colors of cast stone to complement the look of the rest of the campus composed mostly of precast panels.


The new Child Care Center was designed in two phases to allow for continued operation and the expansion of the building to provide care for more infants and toddlers. Phase 1 matched the current program size of the existing building and is designed and built in the parking lot of the existing facility. The program is operating in the new building and the previous center was recently demolished. Phase 2 builds the second half of the new building, which will double the number of children (and families) that they can serve. Phase 2 will be built in the footprint of the demolished existing building, and will also include a larger preschool playground as well as a staff parking lot.

Every square inch of the site is utilized. The new Child Care Center is located on a narrow, long urban site bounded by an artery street, city alley, and a major thoroughfare to the south. The existing child care center (building, playgrounds, and parent drop off) remained fully operational during the construction of the new facility.


The entire facility was designed to promote transparency and ensure total “sight and sound” of the children. You can see straight through the building in the center; the lobby, art room, extended learning areas- all open to the corridor and each other with full height glass along the corridor that promotes an expansive imagination and interest in other students, classes and activities.

Key features of the design include a large, central lobby with branded wall coverings, abundant natural light, double height ceilings, and a monumental open stair all serve as a great transparent ‘welcome’ to the building.

Also, unique to the design of the lobby is a book nook. This space provides teachers and students with an escape on a wet or blustery day when the playground is closed and promotes impromptu learning while students are waiting for pickup or checking in at drop off.


New to this facility is a full commercial kitchen and reading room. The kitchen allows for a chef to join the staff and prepare fresh and nutritious meals distinctively designed for the kids, instead of having food shipped over from the hospital’s main kitchen. This enhances the culinary offerings and reduces operating costs. Coming in Phase 2 is a reading room with computers to allow the center to provide break out lessons and activities for preschool and kindergarten students who are reading at an advanced level.


All infant and toddler rooms are on the first floor, with large open windows and doors to their age-appropriate playgrounds. A few key design elements to ensure continual sight and sound monitoring include an infant changing station positioned so that teachers will never have their back to the room or other students. Infant classrooms are paired, sharing a kitchen. The kitchens are centered and open to one another with a semi-circle design to promote a line of sight into the play area for teachers preparing bottles and food in the kitchens. The pairing of infant rooms also allows for staff flexibility, with aides able to float from room to room to support the needs of either classroom when appropriate.

Toddler rooms kitchens are also paired, but a sliding barn door that can close if one class is engaged in a quiet activity or nap time. The center of the classroom is open and spacious, for the flexibility of learning activities. The teacher desk is along the wall, with computer hookup to a large wall monitor so that teachers can pull up pictures and video to support their lesson plans. Large windows and door connect to their playground. The window sills are intentionally low so that the toddlers can look out. A sink – at child height, of course – is located just inside the playground door so that students can wash their hands coming in from play. Preschool and Kindergarten Rooms are located on the second floor in a similar layout and with the same primary design goals as the toddler rooms.

The new Child Care Center promotes wellbeing and development through unique design details. A quarter circle stair step was designed into a corner in each room, with three 4” steps to allow older infants to learn how to crawl up and down stairs. The stairs are covered in a fun, fuzzy carpet that is waterproof, stain resistant, and easily cleaned. The infant rooms also have a half-wall ‘vestibule’ for parents to check in, complete with a bench for parents to put the booties on their shoes to walk into the classroom if needed, and a built-in car-seat storage cabinet so if one parent drops off and another picks up, the car seat can stay with the child.


Security and safety were the primary design considerations. The facility has many security cameras throughout the interior and exterior. Parents are provided access cards to swipe in at the main door, and a video intercom is provided for guests and visitors. Exit stair doors and the elevator doors are also access controlled, to prevent the little ones from getting stuck/trapped/hide in the elevator or stairs. Additionally, playground gates all have alarmed panic hardware, to alert staff if a passerby is trying to enter the playground.


The design team worked with the narrow site to create an undulating topography that promotes exploration, changes in materials, and creates ‘destinations’ throughout the play space. The theme is ‘natural playscape’ – to reinforce the branding of the hospital but also provide a unique play experience that promotes learning through exploration rather than just dropping play structures on a flat site.

The design team wrapped the building with playgrounds so that they are accessible from every first-floor classroom and the south end of the building. This provides both security and a natural (and vibrant) extension of the classrooms with large windows connecting the spaces.


Built with all ‘outsulation’ – all insulation was continuous rigid insulation installed outside of the building sheathing to improve thermal performance. No thermal breaks with old school fiberglass batt insulation!

We applied a special UV resistant coating on the CMU wall that separates Phase 1 and Phase 2; this allowed us to protect the finished interior of phase 1 while saving cost vs. installing then removing a temporary cladding system on that wall. Most coatings are not resistant move than 60 days to the UV rays of the sun; we applied a coating that is resistant 180 days in order to provide the construction team time to erect and enclose the Phase 2 building before that coating starts to break down.

The lighting control system includes ‘vacancy sensors’ in each room. The difference between an occupancy sensor and a vacancy sensor is that a vacancy sensor requires a user to manually turn ‘ON’ a light, where the occupancy sensor automatically turns it on upon sensing you enter. This saves energy when the outside natural light is enough to satisfy the needs of the user when they enter a room, instead of the occ sensory assuming you always need more light. Both systems turn the lights off after a programmed amount of time after it senses you’ve exited a room.

The lobby lights also monitor the amount of daylight coming in through the curtain wall and dim or turn them off when they’re not needed.

Buck Wince on Opportunities for Healthcare in Retail

by Jennifer M. Bobbitt

Wellogy (formerly Davis Wince, Ltd.) President and Founding Principal, Buck Wince recently attended the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon convention in Las Vegas, NV. Wince was part of a panel discussion that included Ethan Sullivan, Executive Director, Real Estate/ National Facilities Services at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Chad Pinnell, JLL Managing Director of Healthcare Solutions.

The panel addressed the opportunities in healthcare and retail as occupancy rates drop in malls and large retail areas. Strategically located in heavily populated areas, shopping centers and malls provide a valuable customer base for the competitive healthcare market. Wince is a noted speaker on the topic of “Healthcare as Retail” and was included in the panel to bring his unique perspective and passion to the subject.

It’s All About Location

Wince and Pinnell met while working on a previous project and clicked on their desire to create innovative and creative solutions to the challenges in the retail and healthcare markets. Wince and Pinnell previously presented at The American Marketing Association on the topic, “Healthcare Goes Retail.” According to Wince, “The opportunity for healthcare providers is to perfect a strategic process that delivers a well-located, convenient healthcare experience close to a complementary mix of consumer retail offerings. Today’s healthcare consumers have a choice. We want to make it easy for them to choose.”

Expanding Healthcare’s Reach

Over the past seven years, Wellogy has been heavily involved in innovative healthy community planning engagements. The firm has designed comprehensive, integrated outpatient healthcare facilities including Medically Integrated Fitness Center, FSED’s, Urgent Care, Multi-Specialty MOB’s, and ASC’s in mixed-use communities. Wellogy has branded the approach to creating healthy communities as Healthy Urbanism™. The passion behind Healthy Urbanism™ is a desire to affect the built environment by inspiring new solutions for the way we live. Wellogy designs environments to promote and encourage wellness.

The New Standard in Senior Living

by Jennifer M. Bobbitt

Nursing Homes are a thing of the past. Senior Living is the new buzz word with the design and operations emphasis on LIVING. The evolution of housing options for seniors has been fueled by the revolution of residents and their families requesting more— more daylight, more activity spaces, more options, more rooms and more home-like settings in lieu of a traditional hospital inspired environment. The generation igniting the change and growth in Senior Living facilities is a group of fascinating, complex, resilient, and active individuals. According to a recent article in Leisure Care, “The Impact The Baby Boomers Have on Senior Living,” the number of Americans over 65 will more than double to 98 million by 2060. They are highly educated, living longer, and wealthier than previous generations.

Wellogy (formerly Davis Wince, Ltd. Architecture) teamed with developer NexCore Group and senior housing operator Meridian to respond to the changing market needs of Senior Living. Their new model for housing, assisted living, and memory care is creating a buzz in the industry and advancing changes in the market set for enormous growth in the next decade.

Thoughtful planning and research went into the new layout and design. The team designed and constructed three similar facilities, one in Marysville, Ohio and two in Indiana. The development team set goals for innovation and prioritized resident and staffing safety in this newly created Assisted Living (AL) /Memory Care (MC) prototype. The outcome created a new facility that left behind institutional associations for AL and MC residents and their families.
The interior design strategy created light-filled activity areas of open public spaces which took cues from local architecture. A welcoming double height space greets you upon entering Assisted Living with a central hearth to organize the public space. Open Lounges and a Bistro encourage interactions between residents, staff, and families.
The interior architecture drew from Ohio rural architecture using barn doors, a gambrel roof form, reclaimed wood, and wrought iron light fixtures while also integrating very modest modern appeal to residents and their adult children. Residents have several room choices including multiple studio options, one bedroom options, and a handful of two-bedroom units.
Operational safety, staffing efficiency, and comfort of residents guided the design of the Memory Care element. A truly open floor plan with a skylit pathway for resident circulation was designed to have a direct line of site from the caregiver desk in memory care. Within the loop path are programmatic options for interaction. Life stations are areas that are equipped with varying tasks for MC residents to execute.
Activities areas, lounge areas, and even a front porch are other spaces residents can experience. The simple idea behind Meridian’s operating philosophy is to get residents suffering from memory impairment out of their rooms and involved with constant activity.
Goals for this project:
  • Keep rates at levels comparable to older facilities in the market giving a huge boost to marketability;
  • Increase Memory Care staff time actively engaged with residents due to the open concept;
  • With less corners and hallways to walk down, with only one entrance to staff and with both dining rooms attached to the main kitchen, there is a reduced FTE count;
  • Get Memory Care residents actively engaged outside their rooms for long periods during the day allowing for these residents to sleep soundly through the night;
  • Increase the building area devoted to Memory Care activity space without increasing budget or sacrificing overall key performance metrics of SF/unit;
  • Improve sight lines of staff to resident rooms in Memory Care;
  • Make a connection to the local community and engage community members within the facility through the use of local art, pictures and reused materials;
  • Use familiarity of local landmarks to make transition to elder care more seamless;
  • Use of sensory gardens and life stations to engage residents;
  • Use architectural design to eliminate view to med carts;
  • Provide in-house medical services for residents for ease of transportation;
  • Provide limited access point to building for resident safety; and
  • Maintain circadian rhythms through use of appropriate and consistent lighting levels through daylight and nightfall.
Walnut Crossing was named a Finalist in the category of Post-Acute and Senior Living Facilities- Best New Ground-Up Development by Healthcare Real Estate Insights, a national trade publication covering the healthcare real estate sector.

A trip inside the new Yellow Submarine themed Mellow Mushroom in Lima, Ohio

by Jennifer M. Bobbitt

On a number of occasions and to anyone that will listen, I have professed my love for the Funky Q. Chicken pizza from Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers. The sweet applewood smoked bacon, hand tossed, lightly dusted with a magical mixture of cornmeal and parmesan wonderfulness crust, the special combination of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses blended just right so as not to distract attention from the tender and tasty barbecue chicken, the caramelized red onions perfectly placed… this pizza is worthy of a song. Beetles inspired titles that come to mind…”I Want to Hold Your Pizza” “Can’t Buy Me Love, But You Can Buy Me Pizza,” or “Let Me Eat.”

When the new Mellow Mushroom opened in Lima, Ohio, I invited my friend and fellow Mellow fan, Linda to take a road trip with me to check it out. Somewhere on a two-lane road in the early dusk hours, she got up the courage to confront me and expressed her concern that maybe my obsession with Mellow Mushroom had moved to a new level… that of Mellow groupie. Driving three hours on a Saturday to check out a new restaurant- was it really necessary when there are two Mellow Mushroom’s within 15 minutes of my house? It was “Friends and Family Night,” the big event when a new restaurant opens its doors to test their skill and service on a select group of customers. I neglected to tell Linda that the architecture firm I work for had just finished the new location, our nineth Mellow Mushroom project in six years.

Copyright Scott Pease/ Pease Photography

In case you’re not familiar with the Mellow Mushroom franchise, or “friendchise” as they like to call themselves, one of the interesting design concepts that the headquarters adheres to is that each location is designed differently and preferably with a theme and elements to support the design. In the case of the Mellow Mushroom Lima, owners Norm & Jane Moser enthusiastically chose a theme based around “Under the Sea/ Yellow Submarine.” The Moser’s daughter Lacey, a former member of the U.S. Navy, runs the store.

The original artwork of this location reflects the iconic design of the late sixties and was designed by Dreamscape Art & Design. Each location celebrates its community with unique, vibrant creations and pays homage to the history and appeal of the area. When you visit Mellow Mushroom Lima, you can learn more about the artwork and the artists by engaging in an online gallery available on your smart phone.

In this Mellow Mushroom a giant 3-D graphic of a smiling woman that greets you from the wall above the kitchen. Adorned with a crazy, colorful collection of computer wires as her hair, local residents will recognize the woman as Lima born comedian Phyllis Diller, a pioneering female stand-up comedian known for her “electric hair.”

Copyright Scott Pease/ Pease Photography

The Lima Locomotive Works, a local company for which the town was well known, gets a nod in the restaurant in the entry wall above the kitchen. Also included in the design is a baby Kewpee representing the long-time, popular local establishment Kewpee Hamburgers headquartered in Lima.

Keeping with the hippy theme of the Mellow Mushroom brand, an actual VW Bus back jets out from the bar back. Under the overhang of the bar, metal plumbing curved upward serves as purse hooks for bar patrons. Phone charging plug-ins with USB outlets are located beneath the overhang as well, both at the inside bar and on the four seasons patio bar.

Copyright Scott Pease/ Pease Photography

Across from the bar is a room with high top tables, a funky Mellow Mushroom inspired Abbey Road painting, port holes for windows and a garage door that allow the room to be closed off completely for meetings events. A large mounted screen on one end of the room can be used for television viewing or presentations. A series of side swivel doors open to the drink station or can be closed off for privacy. The day of our photo shoot, the room was being utilized by a group for a training session.

The bar area is accessed from the four season patio as well. Casement windows can be opened in the summer to allow for fresh air and closed off and the ceiling heaters utilized in the winter to maintain a comfortable temperature. The bar area features bright yellow windows that can be closed off allowing the entire patio to serve as a private meeting space.

Copyright Scott Pease/ Pease Photography

Also unique to each location is that they have one feature table set apart creatively from the rest of the seating. The Lima location has not one, but four feature tables. The round campfire table located on the patio has the charm, but not the sparks and smell of an actual campfire.

Copyright Scott Pease/ Pease Photography

In the main dining area, the community table continues the “Under the Sea” theme with a table that resembles a hollowed out log with sea sponges whimsically dangling from above. Hidden crystals are embedded in the top of the table with its knotty and textured sides.

Copyright Scott Pease/ Pease Photography

The very obvious feature table is the Yellow Submarine which seats multiple parties and gives patrons the feeling of being under water in a submarine with the moving water effects from a projector on the interior walls.

Copyright Scott Pease/ Pease Photography

The Jellyfish table, with art titled, “Psychejellic,” is an enclosed semi-circular booth with a log table and jellyfish lights floating above. The central jellyfish emits a UV/black light adding to the appeal of the groovy seating. A funky ode to John Lennon details the exterior of the booth.

Photo on the upper right jellyfish table – Copyright Scott Pease/ Pease Photography

The Mellow Mushroom Lima design is the result of pure enthusiasm and passion and it shines through in every detail of the dining environment. An upbeat and energizing experience, the restaurant is the JLo, or triple threat of restaurants offering an explosion of flavor, a unique modern art gallery environment and yes, did we forget to mention fashion! The House of Shroom has its own website, fashion show, and following of their lifestyle brand. This is a brand that really has fun with its branding. More than another pizza place, Mellow Mushroom is an experience that feeds the senses.

Dave Plunkett and Norm Moser pose with the metal of King of Pop on the Mellow Mushroom Lima patio.
The World-Famous Dave Plunkett

Have you ever met someone who injects enthusiasm into everything they do? That’s architect Dave Plunkett. Dave was the architect and project manager of the Mellow Mushroom Lima project. We’re pretty sure Dave dreamed about this project every night for about a year, except for the night before the presentation to the Mellow Mushroom headquarters. Dave was scheduled to fly to Atlanta to present the designs for the Lima location. He was working in the upstairs section of our offices late into the evening to get everything just right for his show and tell of the designs. Much to his surprise, everyone had gone home and locked him upstairs. Caught up in his work, Dave lost track of time and after many failed attempts and calls for help, he did what every super hero architect would do and broke down the locked door and raced to catch his flight, his cape blowing in the breeze behind him.

The client for the Mellow Mushroom Lima project, Norm Moser nicknamed Dave, “The World-Famous Dave Plunkett.” The pair made a strong, united force of creative and driven energy on this project and their passion for leaving no detail untouched shines through in the many clever and innovative touches throughout the design.