A Taste of Chocolate: Mel’s Fish Shack

Continuing her late father's legacy, Mel's Fish Shack owner Georgette Powell is catering to the tastebuds and future of her community.

When serial entrepreneur Mel Powell opened Mel’s Fish Shack in South Los Angeles in 1982, his daughter Georgette was at his feet. Now, she’s carrying on her father’s legacy since his passing in 2001. 

(Left to right) Georgette Powell, her older sister, and Mel Powell; date unknown. (Photo courtesy of Georgette Powell)

Housed in an eye-catching aquamarine building covered with murals, Mel’s Fish Shack specializes in fried catfish and other Louisiana-inspired dishes. As the restaurant’s legacy and following continue to evolve, Powell has also made it her mission to add healthier menu options that her customers will love.

“As a people, we lead in every health disparity—hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol–and the Lord blessed us with a beautiful concept that people love. … but if they keep getting all this fried food, they won’t be here, so we have to create something healthy, too,” Powell explains in a recent episode of theGrio’s digital video series, “A Taste of Chocolate.” “I think it’s our job as the restauranteurs and owners to develop healthier options that people enjoy, and fortunately, we’ve been able to do that.”

In the episode, Georgette Powell talks to host Shernay Williams about her love for the community, her plans for the next generation of Mel’s Fish Shack owners, and her process for making irresistible seafood.

In the digital series “A Taste of Chocolate,” host Shernay Williams takes viewers on a virtual road trip to visit some of the best Black-owned food businesses in the U.S. In our first season, we sampled food in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., historically known as “the Chocolate City.” This season, we’re exploring Los Angeles to introduce you to four popular restaurants you should know. Each episode profiles a business owner’s entrepreneurial journey and takes viewers into the kitchen as we taste their signature dishes. 

Learn more about Mel’s Fish Shack and “A Taste of Chocolate” in the video above.

Shernay Williams is a 3x entrepreneur with over a decade of experience as a broadcast, print, and digital journalist. She’s passionate about using video to cover entrepreneurship and business development within Black, female, and other traditionally under-resourced communities.

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