Untold Stories of The Egyptian on Mockingbird
A few days ago, we asked you all for your best personal stories about The Egyptian on Mockingbird, Joe Campisi, and the history of it all.
Here are the highlights – along with some commentary of our own.
“My father’s boss was a poker buddy with Joe. At the time, my parents lived in New Orleans, my father picked them up for the opening of Moran’s on the River. FBI followed them and took pics of the license plate.”
“When I went there in the early ‘60s it had an air of glamour and mystery. We felt so sophisticated eating there. I was friends with people whose parents were friends with the owners so we always got a table. It was fun to look at the men in dark suits sitting in the big booth in the back. There was always a haze of smoke hanging over them.”
It’s no secret anymore that the Campisi name and The Egyptian have long been associated with the Dallas crime scene of the mid-20th century.
“I remember seeing Ernest Borgnine walk by our table in the main dining room. Probably more than 40 years ago!”
Ernest Borgnine was an American actor well known for his roles in films like Escape from New York, Marty, and The Wild Bunch. Younger generations would recognize him as the original voice of Mermaid Man on the Nickelodeon show Spongebob Squarepants.
“I remember back in the ‘60s going to the restaurant on Sunday nights. As a child, I loved the pizza and spaghetti, even that great salad. Loved the salad dressing. I remember those booths that had the juke boxes to listen to music. There were times we went there and saw several of the Dallas Cowboys coming in to eat. They came through the restaurant and went into some other room. Being a huge fan it made those nights incredible.”
The Dallas Cowboys have long been close with the Campisi’s. They still visit to this day.
“In the early ‘80s we would have lunch there about once a week. We arrived one day to a full house and no tables. So, we were told if we wouldn’t bother the guests eating in the back room we could sit there. We agreed and sat a table next to Jack Palance and his daughter having lunch.”
Jack Palance was an American actor and singer, nominated for three Academy Awards. He won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1992 for his role in City Slickers.
“Worked at Athletic Supply, corner of Mockingbird and Matilda in the late ‘70s. Remember a day when Joe brought a dishwasher into the store and bought him a pair of Chucks. Kid needed shoes, so Joe bought him a pair. Sweet man.”
We did some digging into the Dallas Morning News archives and found lots of stories about Joe.
Once he showed up at the airport to meet Marisa Allasio, a famous Italian actress, and present her with a pizza pie. She’s quoted as saying, “A Mr. Campisi met me at the airport with one last night and it was better than any I’ve tasted anywhere.”
If you have more stories about the olden days of Campisi’s Restaurants, please send us a direct message on Facebook! We love reading and sharing the history of the Egyptian on Mockingbird.