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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

< Back to Oral History project: Restaurants of Oxford’s Past


Angelo Mistilis

Angelo Mistilis followed in his father’s (Tom Mistilis) footsteps, opening Mistilis Restaurant out on College Hill Road in the 1960s.

Tom arrived in the United States from Greece in the early part of the twentieth century. After making his way through a steel mill up north and a bus station cafe out west, he eventually made his way to Mississippi. With a fellow countryman at his side, Tom came to Oxford and quickly set up shop. From a cafe on the campus of the University of Mississippi in the late 1920s, to his son Angelo’s own restaurant forty years later, the Mistilis family has blessed Oxford with some memorable meals.

For a handful of decades, locals and co-eds alike filled the dining room for Angelo’s famous smothered hamburger steak.

Angelo and his wife, Jo Dale, worked alongside another North Mississippi legend: Martha Starnes of Starnes Catfish Place. They combined their talents and featured some of their best-known recipes at Abbeville Catfish, a restaurant that was just north of Oxford. After a few years, the place closed its doors.

Angelo Mistilis passed away on January 31, 2021.

Date of interview:
2004-07-20 11:30

Amy C. Evans

Amy C. Evans

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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