YOUR FAVORITE HOMETOWN
With a name like "Constantinos Michalopoulos" starting this section off, you know this is going to be a good one! The fact that Mitchell's is currently celebrating it's 115th year in business is indicative of the steady growth that has been enjoyed since its inception in 1906.
But before we get into that, let's get back to Constantinos. Constantinos Michalopoulos was born on October 12, 1882 in Vlachokerassia, Greece. He immigrated to Pittsburgh at the age of 19, on March 11, 1902. In those days, the dream of every immigrant arriving in America was to someday own their own business. There was no such thing as welfare or government hand outs. You came to America and worked with relatives and friends, saving every dime, until one day you could own your own business and send for the loved ones you left behind. This is exactly what Constantinos did. Upon arrival in the United States, he immediately went to work for the Capitas family, who had a restaurant at 6350 Station Street in East Liberty. In 1906, after four years of hard work, his dream became reality when he opened a restaurant on the corner of Washington and Wylie (directly above the old Civic Arena). Originally, the restaurant was listed under 'dining rooms' in the 1906 Pittsburgh city directories (it wasn't called a phonebook back then because telephones were a rarity back then). Funny as it is, a Greek painter couldn't fit the entire name "Michalopoulos' Dining Room" on the storefront window, so Constantinos went to the city directory and picked out a more American sounding, shorter name. Yep ... you guessed it ... Mitchell's was born (and think of the time I've saved all these years signing our names).
With the dawning of Prohibition in 1920, Gust (the American version of Constantinos) opened a butcher shop in the back of the restaurant. This is where, during the Great Depression, many people received meat on credit that Gust knew would never be repaid. When Prohibition ended in 1933, Gust closed the butcher shop and once again obtained a liquor license. In 1945, he moved to the corner of Court Place and Sixth. Five years later, in 1950, Gust moved down the block to 511 Court Place, just a stone's throw from the Allegheny Court House. In 1968, Constantinos Michalopoulos (Gust Mitchell) passed away and Jim Mitchell Sr. took over the reigns. Mitchell's thrived on Court Place and remained there until 1977 when sadly, all of the buildings on Court Place, along with the Carlton House Hotel, were cleared to make way for what is now One Mellon Center. The 33 years of Mitchell's Bar and Grill on Court Place are still fondly remembered by many Pittsburghers. It is still said that there was never a Pittsburgh city block quite like Court Place!
And fortunately, there was a 1st floor space available where a print press formally was, literally 750 feet away, on the other side of the court house where Mitchell's moved to its current location, at the corner of Third and Ross. In 1990, Mini-Mitch Convenience Store was opened next to the restaurant.
Jim Mitchell Sr.'s dream was to one day own the property where the restaurant was located. He wanted to know that Mitchell's would never have to move again. On June 19, 1998, the seven story office building where the restaurant is located was purchased and renamed 'The Mitchell Building.' Jim Sr. passed shortly thereafter with his dream fullfilled. Through over 100 years, we have endured prohibition, The Great Depression, and most recently the worldwide pandemic, as we continue to uphold the title of "Pittsburgh's Oldest Restaurant." Just like my Papoo, Gust Mitchell, and my father Jim Mitchell Sr., I proudly carry on the tradition in Downtown Pittsburgh that is Mitchell's. Along with my incredible staff, you have my word that we will serve you with honesty and integrity while putting a special emphasis on outstanding customer service.
Mitchell's, 115 years in Downtown Pittsburgh and still standing...
Jim Mitchell, Jr.
3rd Generation Owner