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 100 years 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 Greek 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 Mellon Arena). Originally, the restaurant was listed under 'dining rooms' in the 1906 Pittsburgh and Allegheny phone books. 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 phone book and picked out a more American sounding, shorter name. Yep ... you guessed it ... Mitchell's was born.
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 obtained a liquor license. In 1945, he moved to the corner of Court Place and Sixth. Five years later, in 1950, Gust moved to 511 Court Place, just a stone's throw from the Allegheny Court House. Mitchell's thrived here, and as Jim Mitchell Sr. took over the business it remained on Court Place 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 city block quite like Court Place!
Mitchell's then moved to the other side of the court house, to its current location, at the corner of Third and Ross. In 1990, Mini-Mitch Convenience Store was opened next to the restaurant, and on May 10, 1993, Mitchell's expanded to the second floor adding another bar and 130 additional seats.
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, his dream was fulfilled when the seven story office building where the restaurant is located was purchased and renamed 'The Mitchell Building.'
We are proud to uphold the title of "Pittsburgh's Oldest Restaurant." For 100 years, the name Mitchell's has endured and commanded respect in Pittsburgh. Just like our Papoo Gust Mitchell, and our father Jim Mitchell Sr., we continue the tradition and devote our professional life to Mitchell's Restaurant Bar & Banquet Center. You have our word that we will serve you with honesty and integrity and put a special emphasis on outstanding customer service. You will be served quality homemade meals ... be served quality beverages with a smile ... and all will be done at reasonable prices.
Whether you look to us for 'made from scratch' lunches, relaxing happy hours, complete banquet services, catered office functions or superb office space ... our staff will do everything in our power to make sure that you keep coming back for another 100 years.
Jim Mitchell & Nick Mitchell