Santa Maria, St Augustine
The pier that the Santa Maria restaurant stands on started life as a landing stage for ships in the 18th century, when St Augustine was emerging as a new city. It was known as The Spanish Landing.
This is the old historic part of the city. The pier is to the south side of The Bridge of Lions, built in 1927, a double-leaf bascule (lifting) bridge that spans the Matanzas River, an Intracoastal Waterway.
As a restaurant it was owned by the same family from 1949 to 2015 and was a popular spot for families. Guests were allowed to feed the schools of catfish and mullet below the dock through a chute next to each table.
Under new ownership since 2015, it has been closed and slowly falling into disrepair awaiting agreement between the owner and the city as to its redevelopment.