35 Bradford Street

Mussel Beach Health Club

This site has been hopping since 1938. For most of those years, it was home to Manuel Cabral’s Bonnie Doone Restaurant and Thistle Cocktail Lounge, a popular gay rendezvous in the 1950s. In 1958, Cabral tore down the neighboring Conant Street School, which had been used for about 25 years as the headquarters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, to add parking spaces for the restaurant.

The property was completely remodeled by William Dougal and his partner Rick Murray as the Mussel Beach Health Club, which they had opened on Shank Painter Road in 1993. Murray and Dougal, an agent at Pat Shultz Real Estate, also own the Crown & Anchor.

Picture essay

3 thoughts on “35 Bradford Street

  1. This property, which was the Bonnie Doone, was my family’s property for three generations; owned by my grandmother, Josephine Rabbitt, and then my father, Lewis Rabbitt. The Cabrals obtained it from the town for unpaid taxes while my father was in the hospital in Connecticut for surgery caused by war wounds.

    • Bunny, I’m born and raised in Hyannis and as a kid my folks took us to the Bonnie Doone several times, probably in “64 or ’65. It was a highlight for me back then and my little sister and I loved it.

  2. So sad. I am so sorry to hear stories like your father’s. Family owned business are the best because they really get to know their customers over time. I never visited the Bonnie Doone but I miss the family owned restaurants in my area that couldn’t survive this economy.

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