At the Hut

Dear Flynnstones,

Christian’s Hut opened on Catalina Island in 1935, as a bar for the crew working on the film “Mutiny on the Bounty” The bar was located right under Clark Gable’s room and was named after Clark Gable’s character in the film.

After filming was completed, owners Art LaShelle and Joe Guido moved the operation (in name only) to to Balboa Island in Newport Beach in a building that was the old Southern Seas Club. They draped the building with netting, added a dock, and introduced the Tahitian-style restaurant Christian’s Hut.  The sand-floored ground-level bar was frequented by the likes of Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart and Fred MacMurray.  Their bouncer, Don Vaughn invented a new concept in throwing out unruly customers; he carried them out to the end of the pier and threw them into the bay.

Read more here:…

The mascot for Christian’s Hut was “the Goof,” whose genesis is not known; it was basically just a funny-looking head that topped the building. The Goof can now be seen atop Bali Hai (…) in San Diego.

There were a handful of other locations that were never as popular as the original on Balboa Island.  Unfortunately, Christian’s Hut burned down in 1963 and the site is now home to the Newport Towers condominiums.

Here is Errol at the hut. He lingers on in tour guide Mang’s memories.

Balboa Island Museum’s “Golden Age of Newport Harbor” Movie Premieres at Balboa Yacht Club


— shangheinz

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