From Harlem’s Heart To Grand Central: Melba’s Takes A Bite Out Of Midtown

February 26, 2024

Melba Wilson‘s journey to culinary success started with a lesson in thriftiness from her South Carolina grandmother.

Saving diligently from the age of 21, Melba amassed over $300,000, affectionately dubbed her savings account the “First National Mattress Savings Bank.”

With this nest egg, she launched her first Melba’s location in Harlem in 2005, serving up comfort food classics inspired by her upbringing.

Now, nearly 20 years later, Melba is expanding her culinary empire with a third location in the iconic Grand Central Terminal, slated to open in June.

Despite her growing success and famous clientele, including a victory over Bobby Flay on Throwdown, Melba remains rooted in Harlem, where her flagship restaurant continues to thrive. as well as famous visitors like Meagan GoodJesse Jackson, as well as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry — but her heart remains in Harlem.

Beyond her restaurants, Melba is committed to giving back to her community.

Every Friday, she partners with PS 161 to provide food for around 100 elementary school children, ensuring they have nourishing meals over the weekend.

As she looks ahead to the opening of her new location, Melba reflects on her journey with gratitude, emphasizing the values of love, passion, and hard work that have guided her along the way.

With her signature hospitality and dedication to preserving her restaurant’s small-town charm, Melba is poised to make a lasting impact in the heart of New York City.

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