The Square Grouper Tiki Bar and Castaways Marina site in Jupiter dates back to the early 1890’s. When the Jupiter Lighthouse was being built in the 1850’s, Gus Miller purchased this site and built a small hotel and saloon to accommodate the builders and travelers. Being near the original roadbed of The Celestial Railroad, it overlooked the wild and scenic waterway and enjoyed the patronage of wealthy, fashionable tourists who ventured south on the Indian River by steamer or aboard their own yachts. Some spent the night at the hotel near the Jupiter dock while others stopped by the saloon and then departed. President Cleveland and other dignitaries stopped by the hotel and saloon for dinner. The hotel dining room provided exquisite views of the water and hosted dances and entertainment of various kinds, including a community Christmas celebration. After the hotel was abandoned, the site changed hands several times in the early 1900’s and later became a frequent meeting place for friendship, dances and community events, much like it is today.
The Jupiter Inlet, despite being classified as a non-navigable waterway by the US Coast Guard, has seen many travelers throughout history. From the 1600’s when pirates and ships loaded with illicit treasure like the San Miguel de Archangel roamed the nearby waters, to the contraband quietly brought through by bank robbers, rum runners and drug smugglers in more recent years; this small, sleepy fishing village has a long and colorful history. Such history is what gave the current business its name: Square Grouper is the name reportedly given by members of the US Coast Guard to bales of marijuana thrown overboard or out of airplanes, that were often found along the Jupiter Inlet and other waterways in South Florida.
January 26, 2003 (Super Bowl Sunday) was the “official” opening of The Square Grouper Tiki Bar and Castaways Marina. It has grown into one of the most popular watering holes in the United States and was even the venue for several music videos including Alan Jackson’s hit “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” with Jimmy Buffett.
The Square Grouper also hosts numerous fundraisers each year, benefiting many local non-profit and charitable oraganizations and has helped to raise over $750,000 to date. Live music can be heard Tuesday through Sunday, ranging from local bands, to some of the music industry’s most famous artists who sometimes pop in without notice. This little piece of paradise has a spectacular view of the Jupiter Lighthouse, brilliant clear blue tides and breathtaking golden sunsets. Like it has been for the past 130 years, it remains a local landmark and gathering place for pirates, presidents, friends and perhaps drug smugglers to eat, drink, dance and celebrate!