Learn About Gilligan’s Island Star Alan Hale Jr.’s Lobster Restaurant


“The first thing I’ll do when I get back is sink my teeth into a nice juicy steak.” Skipper – 1965

After Gilligan’s Island was canceled in 1966, Alan Hale Jr. (“Skipper”) continued guest starring on numerous television series (he even starred with Bob Denver in the short-lived 1969 series The Good Guys), but he ventured into other fields as well…..including opening his own restaurant. This venue was entitled Skipper Alan Hale’s Lobster Barrel, and it became a very popular seafood restaurant along N. La Cienega, Hollywood’s restaurant row, throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

For fifteen years the Skipper bade welcome to guests eager to sink their teeth in a nice juicy lobster ( steaks were always available too ). Hale loved being associated with his character “The Skipper” from Gilligan’s Island and till his death in 1990 he wore the famous seaman’s hat and blue-topped deck shoes. New visitors to the Lobster Barrel were often given a hearty table-side greeting by Hale, who always made time to chat with his guests or sign autographs.

Inside, the restaurant was decked out in wood with palms for decor, resembling a typical seafood house. There was even a tropical bar….Mr. Howell would have appreciated that.

The Lobster Barrel menu was quite large and offered a wonderful selection of fresh seafood, as well as some rarer specialties such as Bouillabaisse Marseillaise, Paella Valenciana, and Escargot. Soups and salads included the Mariner Salad with Bay Shrimp, French Onion, Lobster Bisque, and Boston Clam Chowder soups. The Skippers Galley featured all the surf-and-turf selections that the Skipper himself would devour : King Crablegs and Steak, Stuffed Shrimp and Steak, Salmon Alfredo, and even Lobster Tail with Steak priced at $17.95. Yes, this was no roadside diner establishment. The menu prices of the 1970s match most major franchise restaurant prices of today, so one can imagine what a high-end restaurant this was. Take the Shrimp and Lobster Newburg, for example, at $15.95, it is the equivalent of $69 in today’s money. That’s quite a dish of fish!

In 1982, Alan Hale no longer participated in active ownership of the restaurant, but it continued on as Alan Hale’s Lobster Barrel until it closed its doors in 1990. Hale tried his hand at other ventures then, including owning a travel agency ( Anyone want to take a three-hour boat tour? ) He also appeared in several commercials, such as this Ensign Chrysler Plymouth ad in 1986.

Contstance Metzinger runs the blog Silver Scenes, which celebrates the richness of classic films. Check it out!