Leola’s and FAMU: a match made in heaven

Leola’s Seafood was one of many Black-owned restaurants featured during Bite of Brown week. Photo courtesy: Malcolm Harvey

Being a successful Black-owned business may be tiresome and hard to manage. One thing that could be a struggle along the way is getting the exposure the business needs to flourish.

Bite of Brown week can help with those challenges, however. It is a week dedicated to highlighting Black-owned restaurants in Florida’s capital city.

Leola’s Seafood was highlighted as one Bite of Brown’s supported two restaurants per day. Due to its proximity to Florida A&M University, it is to no surprise that Rattlers are loyal customers.

The partnership between the university and Leola’s Seafood has grown immensely since its establishment 14 years ago.

Tallahassee native and owner of Leola’s Seafood, Eric McKinnon, says it is important for him to be able to have ownership of a restaurant as well as what impact he wants to leave for the surrounding community.

“To actually have the opportunity to own my own restaurant on a predominately Black side of town is phenomenal,” McKinnon said. “[I’ve] always wanted to show kids growing up in this neighborhood that you can succeed as a Black man and be a positive influence.”

Upon entering the restaurant, customers immediately start experiencing its vibes with music playing from ceiling speakers. The restaurant features soothing maroon-red walls decorated with various accessories such as novelty crabs on a fisherman’s net and anchors that make it just right to want to sit down and eat. The next easily identifiable aspect to the restaurant is its alluring aromas wafting through the eatery.

The pleasant aroma gives off a potent yet refreshing seafood smell that is met with seasoning and spices of all kinds.

The menu offers a wide range of seafood options including fish, crab, shrimp, wings and even sandwich baskets. If there is still room left in your stomach after finishing the main course, Leola’s Seafood has two dessert options: sweet potato pie and pound cake.

If you were lucky enough to catch it, a special discount applied to a four blue crabs, six shrimp and two sides dinner for $17 before tax, during Bite of Brown week.

In a nutshell, Leola’s Seafood is a friendly neighborhood restaurant that is deservedly known for its excellent customer service, great quality food and encapsulating dining environment.

If you are interested in visiting Leola’s Seafood, it is located at 1911 South Adams St., just across from FAMU’s campus.