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50 years of fish: Family keeps Herb's Fish Place open in Washington County

One restaurant has 50 years under its belt, and it's thanks to kids and grandkids who want to keep the dream alive

TENNILLE, Ga. — It's not often that all the kids in the family want to carry on the family business, especially if it's in a small town like Tennille in Washington County.

One restaurant has some almost 50 years under its belt and it's thanks to kids and grandkids who want to keep the dream alive.

A guy by the name of Herb Johnson began his entrepreneur run in 1971. Herb's Fish Place is still going strong by serving fried shrimp, catfish, oysters, scallops, and even frog legs.

It's a destination place out in remote land between Tennille and Oconee. Herb's daughter, Bess Bailey, now runs the place.

"Daddy decided he wanted a store -- a little store -- so he built this in the 60s then he decided he'd rather fish," she said with a chuckle.

At first, Herb laid out what he caught on the table.

"Then he couldn't keep up, so we had to start buying fish," said Bailey.

She calls the shots in the kitchen. When the couple died, lots of family members didn't stray too far from their roots.

Seven family members with full-time jobs come to work every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, and that includes Glenda Anderson.

"The pay's not that good," she joked.

But you know what's priceless? The regulars, like Keith Lindsey.

"Well we did for years every Thursday night and then we started getting fat, so we had to tone it down a little," he said with a grin.

Herb and his restaurant are legendary, kept alive by two generations that couldn't let the friendly guy's dream swim away.

The family says they aren't doing anything special in October to celebrate five decades of business, but they may mark the occasion by having a float in the Sandersville Christmas parade.


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