Mel′s Diner is the setting for the 1976−1985 American TV series Alice. It is a fictional roadside diner on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona, that serves locals and truckers. It has a counter, two large booths and a couple of tables. Although one of the three waitresses, Alice, is the main character, the show revolves around all of the waitresses and Mel Sharples, the owner and cook. Most scenes of the show take place in the diner as well. The diner setting is so intertwined with the show that the series itself is often referred to erroneously as "Mel's Diner".
Throughout the run of the series, Mel's Diner has a reputation, especially among its regular customers, for serving terrible food, though, more often than not, this is meant to be a joke. Mel's is noted for its gourmet chili, which is referred to as "Mel's Famous Chili". In "Sharples vs Sharples" Mel's mother, Carrie (Martha Raye), published a cookbook with Mel's chili recipe in it and the two fought about who's chili recipe it really was. Carrie took it out because Mel claimed it's "mine, mine, mine".
The outside shot of the diner's sign with the giant coffee cup sometimes seen in the opening credits of Alice is of a real Mel's Diner (1747 NW Grand Avenue) in Phoenix. The sign was seen by a producer scouting Phoenix for an establishing shot. It had been "Chris’ Diner" but the owner agreed to change the name to "Mel’s" for the show and is called the same to this day.
- "Phoenix visitors relive TV history at Mel's Diner", Associated Press in USA Today, December 17, 2010.