When visiting Martin County, FL and the Treasure Coast Area, you will have a lot of dining choices, but one stands out if you ask around. Known for its fantastic food and location, The Dolphin Bar and Shrimp House has become the “go-to” location for locals & visitors alike. But, this location has something other dining establishments in the area do not have: a unique history that elevates your meal to an experience you will remember.
The Person To Know & The Place To Be
The Dolphin Bar location was built by the singer, actress & philanthropist Frances Langford. If you don’t know who she is, you probably know her good friends (such as Bob Hope & President Nixon to name a few).
Frances was born in Lakeland, FL, and later became world-renowned for her work in radio and movies. She was notably beloved for her USO Tours and was truly ahead of her time as a local businesswoman. Remembering her Florida roots, Frances moved to Jensen Beach in 1945. In 1961, she was inspired by the Polynesian Islands of her travels to build the Outrigger Resort with her husband, Ralph Evinrude (Yes, as in Evinrude Motors- the guy whose name is on all most boat motors).
The Outrigger Resort was a destination restaurant & entertaining space for the next twenty years and quite the celebrity playground. Then, in the 1980s, The Outrigger Resort closed its doors. But it received a newly restored life thanks to “The Father of The Dolphin Bar,” Fred Ayers. Fred visited the Outrigger Resort in its prime years before and decided when he saw it in disrepair to restore it in the 1990s. With the blessing and patronage of Frances Langford herself, the Dolphin Bar was reopened. It now runs with the motto: “The Dolphin Bar and Shrimp House is a house built on the foundation of exquisite food and fine and happy times.” (dolphinbar.com/about-us/)
A Beloved Local Treasure
Today, the Dolphin Bar & Shrimp House is a beloved local treasure. It serves as a place to connect with friends, to experience the past, and to enjoy incredible food and great spirits. Whether or not Frances Langford knew she was creating a landmark destination restaurant is hard to tell. But her love for people, great food, and memorable times clearly endures here. The Dolphin Bar prides itself on preserving her memory, which makes this location a great place to visit.
What My Town Loved:
The views: The Dolphin Bar is known for its location on The Indian River. It has tremendous unobstructed views from Stuart’s Causeway all the way up the Indian River to Jensen Beach Causeway Bridge.
The food: The Food was incredible. Known for their Dolphin Fish Dishes (as in Mahi Mahi, not Flipper), The Dolphin Bar delivers. The Smoked Dolphin Dip is fantastic. You must also try their coconut shrimp (My Town had them in the Tropical Tacos), salad bar, and homemade ice cream!
The bar: We loved the vintage bar. It was described to us as looking out from a cruise ship! The drinks are fabulous, and you can’t find this kind of vibe just anywhere.
The historic happy vibe: Take time to look at the Photos in the Gallery Areas of the Original Outrigger Resort. Afterwards, go back and walk around the restaurant a bit. You will immediately see the resemblance. Then everything about your dining experience will begin to be more fun as you partake in the nostalgia.
The fish feeding: The Dolphin Bar is a Dock & Dine Restaurant, so it has a great pier that has attracted local fish who are used to being fed. Our kids loved it!
The service: Nowadays, good service in restaurants is getting hard to find. But our experience wasn’t just good, it was great and a lot of fun! Our server is a long-time resident of Martin County and enjoyed telling us all kinds of tidbits about the area. Plus, she made fantastic recommendations for our drinks and meals.
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