Back in 1985, 19-year-old Mario Spina opened Big Apple in Pompano Beach. It was a pizzeria that morphed, over its 22-year run, into a family-friendly trattoria.
Mario and his wife, Nadia, went on to open and sell Mediterraneo Cafe and Grill in Pompano. In July, they shuttered their Mario Ristorante Italiano in Coconut Creek. That’s because they came upon the space now occupied by Sunset Catch.
A chance meeting with the owner of the Sands Harbor Marina led them to a tour of an eerily abandoned restaurant that had been closed for seven years.
"When I opened the door, it was like the Titanic," Mario Spina says. "They were using it for storage."
The view of the Intracoastal from the second-floor terrace was all the Sicily-born chef needed. He gutted the space and transformed the wreck into a 220-seat restaurant.
Read the review at Sun-Sentinel.com.