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Kiamie’s: An Oxford Tradition Since 1952


In 1966, Mississippi became the last state to reverse laws that prohibited liquor sales to the public. Alex Kiamie Sr. was one of the first people in line to purchase a liquor license, and he and opened up Kiamie’s Package Store, which has now celebrated its 50th anniversary of serving the people of Oxford. Kiamie’s Package Store has been a pool hall, a restaurant and 50 years later, it’s still going stronger than ever.

After moving to Oxford in 1952, Kiamie owned, operated and lived in a diner in the building where Domino’s stands today. Over the years, he was able to purchase more land and expand his business ventures. In addition to the liquor store, Kiamie owned a bowling alley, a laundry mat, a car wash and a bar. Kiamie’s has always been a family business. Alex Sr. passed away and passed the torch to his son Alex Jr. After owning the store until 2003, Alex Jr. has since retired, and the store is now owned by Alex “AJ” Kiamie III. A.J. knows that without his grandfather’s hard work, the store would not be what it is today.

“He was the hardest working man I ever met in my entire life. We had a lot that was 10 to 15 acres of grass that he would cut with a push mower; and that speaks the kind of man he was and the work ethic that he had,” Kiamie said. “He was in debt up to his ears, and he rolled the dice for us; and thank God he did, because we are reaping the benefits of it today. I think he would be proud of what we have turned it into and proud of the fact that we’ve kept it a family business.”

Oxford has seen its fair share of changes since Kiamie’s first opened in 1966, but A.J. is proud that his family’s name and businesses are one constant in this town.

Alex Kiamie Sr.

“Anybody who’s ever been to Ole Miss that’s still living has seen or been to a Kiamie’s business since 1952. Elderly people remember the diner, those from the ’80s remember the bowling alley, people my age remember the bar,” Kiamie said. “You can keep coming back to Oxford, and it’ll keep changing, but its an honor to be one of the constant things in this town. It’s fun to watch Oxford grow and change, but to turn around one day and realize you’ve been in business for 50 years is incredible.”

The Kiamie’s have not only owned businesses in Oxford, but they have become a part of the town. Alex Sr. attended Ole Miss and was a cheerleader, A.J. played football for the Rebels during his time at Ole Miss, A.J.’s wife played tennis and his sister was voted “Most Beautiful” during her freshman year. To be so entrenched in the community is something that A.J. is thankful for and can’t imagine ever changing.

“The roots are there. It doesn’t get more Oxford and Ole Miss than we do. We try to help the local community as much as possible, whether it’s a donation for a charity or just a friendly place of business, we’re always here,” Kiamie said. “We basically know everyone in town. Heck, I’m related to half the town.”

Commemorative bottles of Makers Mark for Kiamie's 50th anniversary
Commemorative bottles of Makers Mark for Kiamie’s 50th anniversary

A.J. pointed to many things that have kept them in business over the years, including a good selection, consistent hours, a helping hand; but there is one thing above all else that has kept Kiamie’s running for 50 years and looking forward to 50 more.

“It’s the lifeblood of Oxford,” Kiamie said. “We are a drinking town. That’s for sure.”

Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com

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