In 1946, George Zaro opened a restaurant at the north end of the old redwood Richardson Bay Bridge. In 1949 he turned the restaurant over to Enrico Pastori so that he could devote most of his time to developing a yacht harbor behind the restaurant. Pastori’s restaurant didn’t last long. In 1951, Anthony and John Sabella took over, offering seafood in the restaurant as well as at their outdoor retail market. In 1966, Sabella’s added a large new wing. They often served as many as 1200 dinners a night. In 1976, after 25 years, Sabella’s closed. In 1977, Sabella’s of Marin opened on Main Street in Tiburon. Its replacement, The Sawmill restaurant and nightclub (open until 2 a.m. for dancing) lasted only three years. After 1980, the building remained without a restaurant. In 1997, Mill Valley Planning Director Don Dickenson stated, “It’s been ready for redevelopment for years, it’s an eyesore, and for years, the Fire Department has been wanting to burn it down.” He was encouraged by plans for a posh 50-room hotel to be established in its place. The Aqua Hotel was approved in September 1997 and opened in August.