112-year old Business Has Served Its Last Lunch

Mitchell's Restaurant, Bar and Banquet Center on Ross Street is transitioning out of the restaurant business.

photos from Mitchell's website

A Pittsburgh lunchtime staple for the last 100 years served its last lunch on Friday. Downtown eatery Mitchell’s has stopped operating as a restaurant. It will remain open as a bar and catering company.

In an announcement posted to the restaurant’s website last week, owner James Mitchell Jr. wrote that the banquet room upstairs will become office space for the catering business, and the dining room downstairs will become part of the bar.

“I came into the business to work with my Pop in 1980 and have opened these doors every morning for 38 years,” Mitchell wrote. “But now, it is time. I am reengineering my business.”

Jim and Pete Mitchell, 1959. 

When the Mitchell family opened the business in 1906 after emigrating from Greece a few years prior, the family’s last name was Michalopoulos. The founder, Constantinos Michalopoulos, originally called his restaurant Michalopoulos Dining Room, but legend has it the words would not fit on the windows of the storefront. That led Constantinos to the phone book, where he picked a more “American sounding” last name for his family and the business: Mitchell.

The restaurant has moved locations and had different iterations during the last 112 years but remained a place to get a hearty, inexpensive meal.

“I thank our longtime, loyal lunch customers for their years of patronage,” Mitchell wrote in the post.  “Although you may no longer come to my restaurant for a home cooked meal, you can still have it delivered to your office or special event center. I know many will miss my place for lunch. I will miss you all as well, but I said earlier, it is time!”

Categories: The 412