Harry's Seafood, Bar and Grille
A former residence, this now restaurant in St. Augustine faces the waterfront.
46 Avenida Menendez
St. Augustine , FL 32084
Phone: (904) 824-7765
Open to the public: Yes
Demographic Rank: 6
Vistor Rating: 0.0
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History information is some background and history about the location. This is meant to be a basic summary. Below the history records you will find sources in which you can click on to find out more information. There may be multiple history records per location.
At 46 Avenida Menedez, facing St. Augustine's waterfront, there is a restaurant that has changed names several times, from Chart House, to Catalina's Garden to Puerta Verde Restaurant, and at this writing it simply goes by "Harry's Seafood Bar and Grill", but one thing that hasn't changed is the haunting of this building.
As a side note, who is Harry? Harry is the name of a long-shot horse. Turns out the owners wanted to open a restaurant based on Cajun restaurants they enjoyed in New Orleans, they only had one problem, no funding. So they went to the horse races and put their money on a long shot. At 50-1, Harry the horse won. So the owners took their winnings and started their chain of restaurants called "Harry's."
The original building was constructed sometime around 1745 according to what I found in the records of the St. Augustine Historical Society. Documents indicate that it was home to Juana and Francisco de Porras and their nine children. One of their youngest children, Catalina, is the one that is allegedly responsible for the ghostly antics here, or at least some of them.
In 1770, when she was about eighteen years old, she married Xavier Ponce de Leon and in 1783 when the Spanish regained Florida from the British, Catalina and her husband returned to St. Augustine. She found that the house where she had spent the first ten years of her life had been used by the British as a storage barn. Catalina and her husband asked the governor to return the house to her. She regained ownership of her childhood home in 1789 but she was not to enjoy the house for long. In 1795 Catalina died and that ended her story, or did it?
Not much is known about the house until 1887 when it was destroyed by a big fire that swept through a portion St. Augustine. Based on 1840 drawings of the house, it was rebuilt in 1888. The house was built on its original foundation according to the way it looked when Catalina had lived there, however, instead of using tabby, a plaster and bonding agent made from oyster shells, the new house used concrete for the walls.
Added by: sdonley on 08/13/2017
Stories are just that. Stories and personal accounts that have been reported about the location.
It is difficult to tell how many people have lived in this house before it became a restaurant but everyone that has been associated with the place has reported strange occurrences. Customers of the various restaurants have reported feeling a strange presence in the place which some believe is Catalina. Other people say there is a ghost in the building that is called Bridget who appears in a wedding dress. Those who have seen this apparition claim that it is only a fleeting glimpse, she appears and quickly vanishes, sometimes walking right through a wall or closed door. While most sightings of the ghostly bride seem concentrated around the ladies room, she has also been seen on the patio.
Not all people see the ghost, some only catch a whiff of her perfume, and there is indeed a slight drifting aroma in this place that reminded me of cheap perfume. You cannot smell it all the time because food odors get in the way, but if you concentrate and flare your nostrils you might be able to detect it.
There is an ongoing debate about whether the woman in the bridal attire is Catalina or someone named Bridget who lived in the house in later years. The bridal spirit is not the only ghost in this place, there is also a man in a black suit and hat frequently seen. This man has been witnesses throughout the building and on all three floors. There is a rumor, with a little supporting evidence, that two men died in this building. One perished in the 1887 fire and the other succumbed to an illness around 1900.
The ghosts of this building do not seem to cause any harm and are believed to be friendly. Many customers come in just to see if they can encounter one of the spirits, or perhaps just to get a whiff of that strange perfume. Others have reported the lights flickering, going out, and coming back on, although this was during a thunderstorm.
Added by: sdonley on 08/13/2017
A few years ago I was hanging out with my friend walking around downtown St. Augustine. She knew I worked for GhoSt Augustine and asked me to take her to a haunted spot that was included on one of our tours. We just happened to be near Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille, a normal stop on the Haunted Pub Tour, so I brought her inside. She follwed me up the stair case to the second floor asking, "Where the heck are we going!?"
"Almost there", I said as we walked down an "L" shaped hallway before I pushed open the paint peeling door to the ladies restroom. "Oh, you have to go the restroom," she said chuckling. I responded, "Actually, I don't." She looked confused.
I continued, "this is where Katalina's bedroom was hundreds of years ago before the building became many other things, like Harry's. I continued telling her the tragic story of Katalina and watched as her eyes widened in excitement. She started calling Katalina tauntingly. We sat down on the wicker love seat waiting for something to happen. After about 10 minutes, I myself, was feeling very impatient and yelled out, "Katalina's just afraid to meet new people! Forget this girl!" My friend joined in, "Yeah, what a coward!"
I added, "What a pathetic excuse for a haunting!" as we laughed ourselves out of the bathroom and on to other activities for the evening.
Quite a bit of time had passed from that night and since I had gone on the Haunted Pub Tour. One night, on a spur of the moment, I decided to go on the tour with an old boyfriend for some fun. We stopped at Harry's and went up to the second floor where the tour guide went over the history to the group, including the tragedy of Katalina. While she was telling the story, I had a sudden urge to use the restroom. When I pushed opened the familiar paint peeling door, I had a flashback of that night with my friend and smiled. There was no one in the restroom and it was very quiet. After coming out of the stall I went over to the sink to wash my hands. After shutting off the faucet I realized the towel dispenser near me what out, so I had to walk to the other side of the room and use the other one. While pulling the paper towel off, I could hear the water running in the sink I had just used, behind me. I slowly turned around. The water pressure seemed like it was increasing, or as if someone was turning the handle. I walked over to the sink. "Did I forget to turn the faucet off?: I asked myself before I realized that the water was up to full blast. I put my hand under the water to test its temperature before immediately yanking it away followed by an, "Ouch!" The water felt boiling hot! I quickly turned the handle and ran out of the bathroom back to the group. After seeing the horrid expression on my face the tour guide asked, "Are you ok?" I mumbled in disbelief, "She turned the hot water on- full blast."
The tour guide laughed, "You must've done something to piss her off, because that means she doesn't like you." The next time I went on the Haunted Pub Tour, I made sure to go into the girl's restroom on the second floor at Harry's and apologize to Katalina.
I have now learned NEVER to provoke another spirit again. ~MM
Added by: sdonley on 08/13/2017
Here are the paranormal claims for this location. These have been found through Internet research, reports from members, or reports from personal interviews. To add a claim, please contact PANICd.com, and we will review and add your information.
|Claim #||Added||Added By||Claim|
|2540||08/13/2017||sdonley||An apparition of a woman wearing a wedding dress has been reported being seen throughout the building and in the patio.|
|2541||08/13/2017||sdonley||An apparition of a man in a black suit has been seen throughout the building.|
|2542||08/13/2017||sdonley||The smell of women's perfume has been reported throughout the building.|
|2543||08/13/2017||sdonley||There have been reports of the water in the woman's bathroom turning on by itself.|
Paranormal evidence is based on claims that have been reported for this location. There can be several types of evidence; however, we have grouped them based on media type for better organization. Here you will find evidence that are logs, audio, video, or photographic.
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Added: 08/13/2017 By: sdonley
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