Redondo Beach lost an old friend last week as Harry Mills, the founder and co-owner of Captain Kidd’s Fish Market and Restaurant, died peacefully at home after a long battle with prostrate cancer

King Neptune Calls Harry Mills

Harry Mills with his wife Beverly at the couple’s fiftieth wedding anniversary.

Redondo Beach lost an old friend last week as Harry Mills, the founder and co-owner of Captain Kidd’s Fish Market and Restaurant, died peacefully at home after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 73 years old.

Mills spent most of his life in the seafood business. He worked for 11 years at Shamrock Seafoods in Wilmington, and then moved to Redondo Beach in 1971 and worked as manager of Tony’s on the Pier. After seven years at that job he was finally able to realize his dream, opening his own fish market in the Redondo Beach Marina.

"That family, they came here and they worked really hard," said Tony Trutanich, the owner of Tony’s on the Pier. "What they earned was respect."

Trutanich praised Mills as a worker, a businessman, and, most of all, as a friend. "Everyone should have a friend like Harry Mills," he said. "He was old school. Anything you needed, anytime, he would be there. He was just one of those people that was all goodness. I wish I was more like him."

Mills and his son, John, have taken what began as a market with a few tables and a char-broiler and turned it into a local institution. The market grew beyond even the family’s own expectations, as two patio levels and a bigger kitchen were quickly added to meet the demands of tourists and locals alike. Mills was one of those owners who was always in his restaurant, and he seemed to know everyone who passed through its doors, greeting longtime friends, passing tourists, and the occasional celebrity with the same warm smile.

Captain Kidd’s Fish Market and Restaurant will remain open for business, and will be run by his family and owner John Mills.

Harry Mills is survived by his wife of 54 years, Beverly, his son John, and his daughters Cheryl Hawkins, Cynthia Swaino, and Kim McAuliffe. He also has six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. ER