Mystic Treats Pizza has been bringing a magic touch to vegetarian-style comfort food in Talent since 2011, and its savory spell moved into Ashland on Sunday.
Owners Erika and Michael Lowe abandoned their 20-seat space along Highway 99 on June 21 for their new, 150-seat digs in South Ashland, at 2345 Ashland St., the site of the former Old Farm House Restaurant.
"We were at capacity in Talent ... limited storage, cooking on hot plates. This place is fully equipped. It was just a good opportunity," said Erika Lowe, while taking a short breather from a whirlwind of last-minute preparations on Friday.
Sunday's opening was a "soft opening." A bigger grand opening event will be held some time in mid-August, she said.
The restaurant's hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, and delivery is available. The restaurant's phone number is 541-897-0045, and its Wed address is www.mystictreats.com.
Old Farm House Restaurant signs still adorned the building Friday and will not be removed for at least another week, Lowe said, until the arrival of new Mystic Treats insignia.
The restaurant's artsy, purple-green theme embellishes the restaurant's walls, from which rotating exhibits of local art will hang, Lowe said.
One of the most exciting aspects of the larger restaurant space, she said, will be regular live music performances, movie showings and community events. For those familiar with Mystic Treats, 7-year-old Magill Lowe's sparkly pink guitar will remain out for customer use.
"It will be cooking and general merriment," said Lowe, 39, who is trained as a pastry chef and can satisfy almost any sweet tooth with her selection of tasty Mystic Treat delicacies — including gluten-free treats.
Her husband, Michael Lowe, 43, is head of pizza production.
With a larger kitchen space to work in, he said, the restaurant's menu will now boast more than a half-dozen different veggie burgers and as many veggie dogs — all made in-house — to accompany more than 20 pizza choices, not including customer creations.
Aside from smoked salmon and Dungeness crab toppings, everything is vegetarian and it's all organic, Michael Lowe said. The Lowes use a white rice, garbanzo and coconut flour for the parlor's gluten-free dough, which is an option on any pizza.
"A lot of our stuff is vegan. ... We are doing a 100 percent meat-free grill and fryer," Erika Lowe, said. "We've been vegetarians for over 20 years."
The family moved to Ashland from Lincoln City in 2010, she said.
The Lowes have hired about 16 new employees to help run the restaurant, Erika Lowe said. In Talent, they had the help of two employees, who stayed onboard during the transition to Ashland.
The restaurant's five-year plan is to begin brewing its own beer, said the couple, who offer a plethora of house-made sodas for customers. The former tenant's Pepsi machines were being carted out the front door Friday.
And if Michael Lowe can get the freezing technique worked out, he hopes to begin offering frozen Mystic Treats pizzas in Ashland grocery stores, he said.
"When people take it out of their oven at home, it has to be like it is here. ... I'm getting close," he said.
Standing on the back deck, which harbors about 50 seats, Michael Lowe said: "I think this is going to be a good location for us. I kind of like being off away from the Plaza ... we're here for the locals. They know who we are. And we're definitely hitting the ground running."
Sam Wheeler is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.