exterior

About the Restaurant

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 island and 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

About Harry MacArthur

On October 21, 1958 Harry MacArthur was born practically on this spot. By age three he was toddling around the restaurant trying to be helpful, but mostly being very trying.

Miss Pauline gave him the job of taking water to customers. Harry would fill the glasses, turn toward a table, stop, take a sip from each glass so he wouldn't spill, then serve the water. While some patrons remember this as cute, it did not bode well for Harry's future as a waiter.

He soon became kitchen help. When Harry left Hobe Sound in 1976, he uttered that now-famous MacArthur quote, "I shall return."

Harry's kitchen affairs took him from Switzerland to Hawaii. He has worked for Hyatt, Hilton, and Sheraton (including being Chef of Rovel at The Sheraton Grande in Los Angeles.) His recipes have been published in Sunset Magazine.

In April 1989, he gave his fellow natives that unforgettable grin and said "I have returned!"

Frequently Asked Questions

How long have you been here?
Always! I was born here. Mom has been on this corner even longer.

Are you open in the summer?
Depends on your business. We'd like to summer in Europe.

Does it snow here?
Just melted yesterday.

How's business?
Order another Snook sandwich and a round of beers while we talk about it.

Do the animals bite?
Generally.

Do you have hurricanes here?
Order one. The cooks will whip up Hugo.

Who is Hugo?
Haven't seen him since the ass whuppin.

Where are the restrooms?
Out back. Watch out for the Gators.

Where did you get the antiques?
Antique shops on Worth Avenue.

Where did you get the junk?
Antique shops on Worth Avenue.

Any Seminoles in the area?
Find the Gators and go north.

We'd love to live here, but how do you make a living?
I don't know. We're all still working at it. Order another pitcher of beer and a Carp sandwich and we'll talk about the stock market.

How do you keep such good help?
Great customers