Friday, December 2, 2022

Abner’s Famous Chicken Tenders: Oxford’s Home-Cooked Chicken Joint

Abner 010
Abner’s Famous Chicken Tenders has locations at 1927 Jackson Ave. West and 430 South Lamar Blvd. in Oxford.

Nestled on the corner of South Lamar and University Avenue is a little piece of Ole Miss history.

Abner's Famous Chicken Tenders Founder Abner White.
Abner’s Famous Chicken Tenders Founder Abner White.

The first chicken restaurant of its kind in Oxford was opened by it’s namesake Abner White in 1993.

White left his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama in 1988 to play football for Ole Miss. During his time at the university he said there wasn’t anywhere to eat on the Square, and certainly no place for students get chicken.

Fried chicken tenders from Abner's
Fried chicken tenders from Abner’s

“I had seen places similar to Abner’s in Tuscaloosa and Auburn and I thought, you know what I’ll give it a

He opened his first Abner’s location with five tables and two fryers in 1993.

“When I opened up the doors it was busy from the get-go,” White said. Abner’s is still going strong after 22 years and now includes a restaurant on Jackson Avenue as well as locations in Starkville, Tupelo, Brandon and Cordova, Tennessee.

Garden salad with grilled tenders
Abner’s garden salad with grilled tenders

White combines pigskin with his chicken fingers, decorating his restaurants with memorabilia of the University, and some of his personal heroes. He says one of the most meaningful photos hanging in his restaurant is that of his coach, Billy Brewer.

“Two from my childhood really mean a lot to me, Walter Payton and Bo Jackson,” he said.

Abner’s not only supports football on it’s walls, but also through feeding Rebel players as well as the local high school teams. “We try to work with local sports groups, they go hand in hand with us,” said director of marketing Mary Margaret Andrews

Abner's hotwings
Abner’s hotwings

“We’re aren’t a corporate giant, we’re a good local product,” White said. “We’re grateful for the support Oxford has given us, and we want to give back to the community.”

Abner's chicken wrap
Abner’s chicken wrap

They also sponsor “Kickin’ for Chicken” at halftime in Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium,  where an Ole Miss student attempts a field goal for a year of free Abner’s chicken.

Fans can register at both Oxford locations to play along. “Before the game we also draw the name of an at-home winner who will also receive the prize if the field goal is made” Andrews said.

Abner’s Famous Chicken Tenders is open Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The two Oxford locations are at 1927 Jackson Ave. West and 430 South Lamar Blvd.

Olivia Morgan is a reporter and can be reached at