Langford Outrigger Café and Exhibit
The Frances Langford Outrigger Café in the Elliott Museum serves lunch, snacks, and the story of one of Stuart’s most famous and beloved residents.
In this exhibit, visitors have an opportunity to learn the story of singer, actress, and Stuart resident and philanthropist Frances Langford (1913–2005).
Born in Lakeland, Florida, and discovered by Rudy Vallee, Frances Langford made her film debut in 1935 in the movie Every Night at Eight, which was notable by establishing her signature song, “I’m in the Mood for Love.” She eventually starred in 28 films and became famous for appearing in Bob Hope’s USO Tours to entertain American troops overseas during World War II and the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
Following her first marriage to actor Jon Hall, Frances Langford married outboard-motor heir Ralph Evinrude, and the two lived a glamorous life in Martin County. Here they lived on a sprawling estate in Jensen Beach—a home which Frances had purchased many years before—and established a restaurant and resort, The Outrigger; many of the resort’s guests included the wealthy, the famous, and their movie-star friends. The couple also lavishly entertained on their luxury yacht, The Chanticleer, which was moored at the Outrigger Harbor Marina. After 31 years of marriage, Ralph Evinrude died in 1986. Frances lived another 19 years and remarried; her third husband, Harold Stuart, served as Secretary of the Air Force in the Truman Administration.
The Frances Langford Café in the Elliott Museum is inspired by the famous Outrigger Resort and Restaurant which Frances and Ralph Evinrude opened in 1961, the same year the original Elliott Museum was built. The café features a reed cloth ceiling and lashed, timber-framed roof beams, reminiscent of the Outrigger; its view to the east allows diners to glimpse the ocean’s horizon.
Personal artifacts—including a postcard from Ronald Reagan accepting honorary admission into the Frances Langford Fan Club, images, lobby cards, awards, and items from the original Outrigger Restaurant, all now in the Elliott Collection, adorn the walls and tabletops.
In addition, eight different tabletop designs are used to tell the star’s story and pay tribute to her tireless philanthropy in Martin County and across the globe.
The Elliott Museum’s Outrigger Café seats 40 people and is available for rentals for private parties.
Beverages, lunches, and snacks are available for purchase at the museum store and can be enjoyed amongst this unique exhibit. To arrange for a group visit on the weekend, please contact our front desk at: 772-225-1961. (72 hour notice is requested for groups of 5 or more on the weekend).