Paul Keevil, originally from London, England, came to the United States to pursue his career in the music business, eventually settling down in Los Angeles. He played bass guitar with many different bands and studio musicians, before venturing into the restaurant business by opening the first Millie’s in the Silverlake neighborhood of LA in 1983. The name “Millie’s” was born as a gesture to the elderly owners of the existing restaurant, Millie and Jack. A funky and irreverent coffee shop, Millie’s quickly became the darling of the Los Angeles restaurant scene, and the home away from home for many like-minded musicians and actors. Keevil left Los Angeles in the late 80’s, and after settling in Richmond, Virginia for a few years, decided to open Millie’s in Richmond in 1989. He has remained active in the music business over the years, and still plays whenever possible with his band, the Wall-o-Matics. Keevil also owns Lulu’s Restaurant and Tio Pablo taqueria in the nearby Shockoe Bottom area of Richmond.
Originally from the coastal Tidewater region of Virginia, Lisa Edwards moved to Richmond in the late 1980’s to attend VCU, and to join the legislative staff of Senator (now Congressman) Bobby Scott. Edwards remained active in regional and national political campaigns for several years, while also working as a bartender and waitress throughout college. She met Paul Keevil in 1991, and became his partner in Millie’s shortly thereafter. Lisa also serves as the wine director and catering director for Millie’s. A longtime animal welfare advocate, Edwards founded a non-profit charity in 2011 called Lost Dog Foundation to help animals in need in the US and the Riviera Maya, Mexico where she works to save animals in critical situations. (www.lostdogfoundation.org)
Keevil and Edwards also designed and opened 1587 Restaurant at the Tranquil House Inn in Manteo, North Carolina in 1993. In Richmond in 1995, they rescued and restored a vintage 1939 Kullman diner which was a fixture on US Route 1 for more than 60 years. The diner was transported to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where Keevil and Edwards opened it as a second Millie’s. The business was sold in 2001.