SJO has learned that all four Dexter’s restaurants are under contract to be sold and are to be split up among as many as three buyers.
According to sources, Greg Peters, the founder of Graffiti Junktion, will take over the Thornton Park and Winter Park locations. John Hofmeister, who was a partner with the eponymous Dexter Richardson and Adrian Mann in all four locations, will retain ownership of the Lake Mary restaurant. It was unclear on Saturday evening who would be taking over the Windermere location, the newest of the lot.
Richardson recently suffered a medical emergency, according to people with knowledge about the situation, and has moved out of the area. None of the principals immediately returned called for comment.
Dexter’s started with one location in Winter Park, on Fairbanks Avenue where the Rollins College bookstore now stands. The space had a wine bar on one side and a wine retail store on the other, originally called Dexter's Wine and Cheese. Most seating was at the bar. The menu was not ambitious.
In 1999 the original Winter Park Dexter’s moved to the then-emerging Hannibal Square neighborhood. The wine shop didn’t move with it. As new locations were added, the name reflected the location: Dexter's of Winter Park, Dexter's of Thornton Park, and so on.
In 2004, Dexter’s opened a third location, in Lake Mary, in the curiously named Colonial Town Park. The newness of the shopping center made for a different feel of the northernmost Dexter’s, different from the other two, which had their own soul and character. The Windermere location opened in 2016.
According to the sources, all four Dexter’s will continue to operate as Dexter’s and keep the same menu and concept.
More information as it is learned.