As of today, Dexter’s of Winter Park, the original of the Dexter’s group of wine bars and restaurants, is closed. Beginning Friday, Oct. 18, Dexter’s New Standard will begin serving customers by invitation when it soft opens at the Ravaudage Plaza at Lee Road and Orlando Avenue.
A year ago, the four Dexter’s restaurants were sold to different entities. The Winter Park store, considered the original, though its location has changed over the years, was purchased by Nathan Landwer.
Following the sale, none of the Dexter’s were required to follow any menu or appearance guidelines, as would be expected in conventional franchises or with businesses with similar names and identities. Indeed, each of the three remaining Dexter’s, including Thornton Park and Lake Mary, has something distinct about it. The Winter Park Dexter’s is known for its live music. (The Windermere location closed over the summer and further news about Dexter's of Thornton Park is anticipated Monday.)
Landwer said last month that he was rebranding to further distinguish his restaurant from the others but he wanted to keep Dexter’s in the name as an homage.
Dexter’s New Standard is moving into the space that was originally a TR Fire Grill. Landwer is bringing in two former chefs from K restaurant in College Park: Ryan McLaughlin as executive chef and Jason Wolfe as executive chef de cuisine. Those hires are being seen as an indication that Dexter’s New Standard will have a renewed focus on the menu, although it will continue to be a venue for live bands.
Landwer said in September that the move was prompted because the landlord of the Hannibal Square location indicated Dexter’s lease would not be renewed. The lease is not set to expire until April. At the time, Landwer did not say whether or not he would keep the Hannibal Square restaurant open, but he did say he had no interest in operating two restaurants. The staff members from Dexter’s of Winter Park are expected to move to Dexter’s New Standard.
According to information from Erin Allport, spokeswoman for Dexter’s New Standard, the restaurant will run a Test Kitchen preview while the staff trains. Here are the details: