First Publix in Orlando Dexter's Thornton Park

Last updated on January 13, 2021

First Publix in Orlando


In 1930, George Jenkins founded Publix in Winter Haven. Despite the depression, his stores were successful and quickly grew throughout Central Florida. In 1936, he opened the first Publix in Orlando, located on 808 E Washington St in downtown.

As new and larger locations of Publix were being built, the smaller and older locations were being closed. In 1984, the building became Dexter’s of Thornton Park, a favorite among locals  for brunch that uses fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Sean McGarry, owner of Dexter’s in Thornton Park, recently received funding from the City of Orlando’s Community Redevelopment Agency for up to $15,589 to preserve the historic building by rebuilding the roof and repainting the exterior.


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