At Wintzell’s Oyster House, the walls can talk


Michelle Matthews of published a great lifestyle article on Wintzell’s Oyster House. They also have a location in Montgomery and it is located across from the Renaissance Hotel in downtown.

By Michelle Matthews | [email protected]
Some of the hundreds of signs covering the walls at the original Wintzell’s Oyster House in downtown Mobile are still as funny today as they were when they were first thought up. Others haven’t aged as well. But all of them are fun to read, whether customers are waiting for a table, waiting for their order, eating raw oysters at the oyster bar or having a drink in the Tarpon Room.
Legend has it that J. Oliver Wintzell, a Mobile character if ever there was one, started hand-lettering jokes and sayings and mounting the signs on the walls soon after he established the then-six-stool oyster bar in 1938. The restaurant has expanded over the years, and there are now eight Wintzell’s locations throughout Alabama.
But the beloved original location on Dauphin Street is where Wintzell himself puffed on his cigar and left his mark, literally, on the walls with G-rated jokes that are definitely not politically correct. Obviously, he had a larger-than-life sense of humor, and his personality is part of the restaurant’s fun, casual atmosphere.
The photo gallery above is just a sample of the charming, quirky words of wisdom found on Wintzell’s walls.