LifestyleHidden Gems

Actions

Harry and the Natives

Hobe Sound's Favorite waterfront restaurant (waterfront when it rains really hard in the parking lot!).
Posted at 10:28 AM, Jun 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-26 10:29:02-04

HOBE SOUND, Fla. — Since the doors opened on Pearl Harbor Day 1941 (December 7), Harry and the Natives have been providing the best down-home cooking and the most unique and eclectic Old Florida atmosphere.

Open every day but Monday (and Tuesday because of staffing issues). They offer hot meals, indoor plumbing, live music four days a week, delivery, catering, a full bar, waterfront dining when it rains, a great time, and merchandise of all things Harry.

Interview with the owner Harry MacArthur

Harry and the Natives in Hobe Sound

About Harry and the Natives
The sand ridge that forms west Hobe Sound has been part of the north-south travel path for centuries. In modern times, US Highway 1 was built on the ridge. This corner marks the intersection of US-1 with the narrowest part of the Intracoastal Waterway in the area. Bridge Road covers the gap between the island and the mainland over the narrow. In the late '30s and early '40s the convergence of the two natural paths seemed a prime location for a cafe, motel, and gas pumps.

Built of native tidewater pecky cypress (cut from Kitchen Creek and milled locally), The Cypress Cabins and Restaurant opened December 7th, 1941–not an auspicious day for opening a business catering to tourists. Hobe Sound proper had been developed two decades earlier at the Olympia stop on the Celestial Railroad. Hobe Sound boasted a four-block downtown fronting the tracks, a winter population on Jupiter Island, and a community of service workers living in Hobe Sound, Gomez and Banner Lake.

Things soon changed as Camp Murphy opened in the Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Camp Murphy housed troops training for jungle warfare. The Coast Guard had rescue barracks on the beach a quarter-mile north of Bridge Road. With little entertainment in Hobe Sound, the Rock-ola in the southwest corner lured ranchers, soldiers, and sailors to adopt this place as home.

Seven owners passed through in the first 11 years. In the spring of 1952, Jack and Pauline MacArthur moved, with their three daughters, into the bedroom over the garage. At that time this was called The Farm, appropriate as the new owners, Jack and Pauline, both grew up on farms in Michigan. The family increased in size with the birth of two Native sons, John and Harry. Things were prosperous until the turnpike opened. When traffic on US-1 diminished, Jack returned to his previous job spending summers sailing ore freighters on the Great Lakes. The family always ran the business. The children helped with cleaning the cabins and pumping gas, as well as learning restaurant chores.

In the mid-'60s, with two daughters away from home, Pauline returned to teaching. She taught home economics at Stuart Middle School. Over the years all of the children moved away. Their careers have taken them all over the U.S. and other parts of the world. In their retirement years, Jack and Pauline poured coffee and served beer to the Natives. Jack died in a hunting accident in 1986. Harry, now a chef, returned home in 1989. He remodeled the kitchen and the business reopened as Harry and the Natives.

Harry and the Natives
11910 SE Federal Hwy
Hobe Sound, FL 33455

'South Florida's Hidden Gems' 480x360

Hidden Gems

11:27 AM, Jun 16, 2021
Hidden Gems
Send us your Hidden Gems of South Florida.