Over 100 Years Ago
While out sailing one day in February of 1900, Standard Oil and Railroad magnet, Henry Flagler stopped at North Beach and asked Catherine and Frank Usina if they could prepare a meal of roasted local oysters for himself and a group of friends. The Usina’s agreed. Afterwards, a hat was passed and they were presented with what was more than a weeks’ salary at that time.
That began a tradition of serving fresh, local seafood that survived the depression and spanned the transition from Usina’s Pavilion to Oscar’s Old Florida Restaurant through several operators until the restaurant burned in September 2001.
Frank Andreu Usina’s family was one of several indentured servants from the island of Menorca who fled the failed English Colony at New Smyrna to safety in St. Augustine in 1768.