The Gathering Place

The Gathering Place

The legacy of community in Corinth 

Words by Visit Corinth

They might be the very first things you notice, there up on the walls and rafters and hanging from the fixtures at Abe’s Grill: the great multitude of car tags, both vintage and new, from across the country. After cleaning their plates, many happy patrons evidently wish to leave another kind behind. "We’ve got license plates from all over, everywhere," says Abe Whitfield, who, with wife Terri, started this landmark restaurant in Corinth 50 years ago when both were in their early twenties. 

Decades later, guests continue to bring in their car tags for placement, and Abe still remembers where the first metal memento came from: “It was Pennsylvania, matter of fact,” he says, recalling a hungry workman who stopped for a bite during a break from building the Tenn-Tom Waterway years ago. He asked Abe if he wanted to hang it. “I said, 'Sure.'”

The license plates represent just a fraction of the folks who've come through the iconic grill’s doors. “We have people from all over the world here every day, plus all of our locals,” Abe says. Bustling Highway 72, which runs from Memphis to Chattanooga and beyond, is what brings the people into Abe’s and then on into Corinth. 

Corinth, Mississippi is home to such happenings as the annual Slugburger Festival, regular Pickin’ On The Square, and the renowned Coca-Cola 10K. And when people are looking for a hometown holiday, they come to witness the magic of Southern snow, festive local events, and no less than 20,000 twinkling lights. Abe’s Grill fits in with the local lure of Corinth, with its beautiful downtown, historic experiences, many shops and restaurants, and lively music, arts, and theater. Corinth’s also where, legend has it, roosters stand treetop tall—but that’s another story.

Abe and Terri’s son Ryan now runs Abe’s, but the whole family keeps things humming. “We're busy all time,” Abe says, with days starting at 3am and going to 2pm. He says the secret to the success of his namesake eatery, which officially turns 50 on March 11, 2024, is in the cooking: “All of our food is homemade. We don't buy off trucks. We go to the local market every day. And we make everything fresh.” Yep, you name it, from the potatoes for the fries to the beef for the burgers, all the veggies and produce, only the freshest will do.

Abe’s biscuits keep people coming back for more, too. They’re made with real flour and buttermilk, not some boxed mix. And the baking starts well before the break of dawn. “We’ve got an order for three o'clock tomorrow morning. So we'll be rolling out early. We’ll be rolling.”

Abe, who turned 75 this past November, is proud of the family’s breakfast and lunchtime legacy. “We’re just still feeding new people every day. We love doing what we're doing. Dunno how long we’ll be doing it, but we love what we're doing.” 

Let’s hope it’s a long, long time. Plan your visit at