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The Oby's concept began with a U.S. Navy man's fondness of great specialty sandwiches. While stationed at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Don O'Bannon "Oby" fell in love with the food offered at a local delicatessen. It provided him the "Food for thought" to pursue the vision of owning a restaurant.
When the Mississippi native returned home from his Navy service, he worked as a computer programmer while earning his Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Always in the back of his mind, though, were his love of great food and the dream of opening his own restaurant one day. After a few years, O'Bannon reached a crossroads in his career and realized "No time like the present!" He traveled the Mississippi delta, Gulf Coast, and New Orleans to learn the restaurant business from the ground up. Don learned everything from what equipment was best, to how to run the business. He also picked up more than a few special recipes along the way. He learned about the world famous Muffuletta sandwich, with his personalized touch, has become the crown jewel of the Oby's restaurant today. On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, he found the secrets of delicious seafood, shrimp, oyster, alligator, and crawfish po-boys. His only regret would be that he didn't follow his dream sooner.
in 1976, Don had everything in place and opened a 55 seat restaurant in Starkville, Mississippi. Oby's quickly became a favorite with the students and locals alike. As word spread about Oby's poboys. Don redecorated with a charming and nostalgic theme and began serving his meals on pewter plates. As Oby's reputation grew, so did the building and now holds a 175 seat dining room. Oby's expanded to Oxford, MS in 2005, when Mississippi natives Ayers Spencer and David Calhoun decided to get back close to home and open up their Oby's. The reputation followed, and Oby's has become one of the most popular dining destinations in Oxford. In early 2020, after serving po-boys for over 43 years, Don decided to hang up his apron, and sold his location to Mr. Spencer and Mr. Calhoun. Now, he has time to travel and spend time with his grandchildren, and rest easy knowing that Oby's will carry on with the same quality and tradition it always has.