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Vasco’s History Has Many Monikers

The Mill Valley Historical Society’s Downtown History of Restaurants and Bars Tour on May 27 includes the northwest corner of Throckmorton, Miller and Bernard, where Vasco sits today.

This is the second in a giving readers a sneak peak at what is coming up for the Mill Valley Historical Society’s annual walk. On May 27, there will be guiding tours of downtown Mill Valley focusing on the history of restaurants and bars. Some are still around today, and others are long gone. All have stories to tell, and this 90-minute walk will be a great way to spend a slice of your Sunday.

One of our stops will be restaurant at 106 Throckmorton Avenue. It is one of the oldest lots in Mill Valley and has over the years gone through many names of establishments, most of them restaurants, bars or grocery stores. 

Anyone who has lived in Mill Valley for a while will remember the Frog and the Peach, O’Leary’s,  Bistro-Bistro, Annabel’s  and the Old Mill Tavern. But in the early days of Mill Valley, most of the businesses that ran out of 106 Throckmorton where grocery stores.

Although records have been lost, tradition holds that the very first lot sold by the Tamalpais Land and Water Company in 1890 was parcel 1, Lot 1. This is the three-way northwest corner of Throckmorton and Miller avenues and Bernard Street, where Vasco sits today. It was purchased by Henry Bornemann for $575. By 1892, the corner lot was occupied by a two-story Victorian building. When the building first went up, there was a carpentry shop used in the base floor. A grocery store opened for business soon after that.

Join us on Sunday, May 27 at the to learn more about the history of the Vasco building and that of scores of other eating and drinking establishments of Mill Valley. Tours begin at 9:30 a.m., and run every half hour until 3 p.m.

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