Sal and Mookie’s: A Mississippi Take on Retro New York Diner Style

This new restaurant interior, expertly designed by Ferriss and Company, is full of retro details and classic diner vibes.

By GR Chair

Photography by Andrew Welch

Sherman chairs in restaurant dining setting.

This new restaurant interior, expertly designed by Ferriss and Company, is full of retro details and classic diner vibes. The Sal and Mookie’s location in Jackson, Mississippi was a renovation of what was formerly Sophomore Spanish Club, which had to close in 2020. If you look closely, some details are recognizable from the previous design, but for the most part, it’s a whole new restaurant! Sal and Mookie’s has given new life to the space, so what was once a 90s fantasy, now looks like the pizza and ice cream restaurant of your dreams.

Sal and Mookie’s is a beloved chain restaurant with three locations in Mississippi serving up delicious New York style pizza “without the attitude” as their website says. Their pizzas, which are all named after New York City buildings and locations, are hand crafted with their signature dough recipe in brick-lined ovens. If you aren’t feeling pizza, there are more options. Paninis, subs, burgers, pasta, and appetizers are all available on their menu. Plus,  to satisfy your sweet tooth, there’s a built-in ice cream parlor. Sal and Mookie’s has been named the best spot in the area for families, and looking at their ice cream counter, we can see why!

With tons of delightful custom signage by A Plus Signs, there’s no mistaking where you're at. Red neon lights that read "Sal and Mookie’s" are on the walls above a section of booths, and globe pendant lights that spell out "Scoop Shop" hang over the ice cream counter. There is so much character to the signage. The fonts scream classic New York pizza spot meets retro diner. The New York feel is heightened via marquee style lightbulbs lining the edges of the dropped ceiling at the center of the space. Suspended saucer light fixtures in burnt orange add a touch of distinctly modern appeal.

There are so many eye-catching details in this restaurant. The walls and floors have fun designs and textures like green painted brick, small candy-red circular tiles on a white background, and classic black and white check floor tiles. Some of the tables have traditional plaid red and white tablecloths, while others embrace a dark wood stain. Between booths under the dropped ceiling, curtains provide a little bit of privacy, so you aren’t awkwardly staring at the person behind your company while you eat. We love the attention to the little things in the customer experience.

Simple commercial steel frame chairs, modern stylish barstools, and brown leather booths make for great indoor seating options, but there are outdoor options, as well! White steel framed outdoor barstools with seating pads and cushioned outdoor benches lined with pillows would be ideal spots for enjoying your dinner on a Saturday evening with family. Windows on the building open to create an indoor/outdoor bar, and TVs are placed around the outdoor area so you can catch the game or whatever else is playing from your table. Patio space like this has been essential in recent restaurant development due to the pandemic, so if you're not so sure about dining inside yet, Sal and Mookie's is still accessible. Or you can use their convenient To-Go window.