The location: Debra & Anton at the Café.


Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. A café / coffee shop, with an unusual decor, that looks almost like a living room.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. Apparently, near the corner of 8th Street and Ocean, in Miami Beach.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    In a very short scene, Debra drops in on Anton, while he's in a funky café, to ask him about Quinn.

    She has heard rumors that he's a bad cop, and wants to know for sure.

    After some opening banter about Anton's guitar, she tells him that she is confused about Quinn, and wants to know if he is "a good guy or a bad guy?"

    Anton asks her: "Does it have to be either/or ?"

Deb replies: "In my world, yeah."

    Anton tells her that all he knows is that Quinn helped him out of a jam when he was in trouble.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A café / coffee shop, specializing in Mediterranean cuisine.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This is the The Mirage Cafe, located at 539 E. Bixby Road, in Long Beach, CA.

    It bills itself as a Mediterranean Grill, serving Middle Eastern dishes such as shish kabob, shawarma, falafel, and vegetarian items.  It's located in a row of storefronts on the north side of street, just west of Atlantic Ave.

    It's in the northwest section of Long Beach, not far from several other "Dexter" locations, including Prado's home, LaGuerta's home, and that scene with the giant donut.

    And yes, the colorful interior decor looks almost as funky as it does on the show.  Most of the items you see in the scene are actually there. The set directors did bring in a few things, threw down a couple of rugs, and rearranged a few pieces of furniture that were already there.  But the general effect is mostly the same.

    You can find the Mirage café on Facebook here.

    To get there in person, get off the San Diego (405) Freeway at Atlantic Ave, then head north five or six blocks, and turn left (west) on Bixby Road, and the café will be on your right side.

      Here is a Google StreetView of the café.

      Here Bing aerial photo, and here is a map link.

    I shot the photo below in 2011

    The Mirage Cafe, in Long Beach

    The photo above is looking north, on Bixby Road.


    If you're curious about the exterior opening establishing shot, seen in the episode just before they show the interior of this restaurant, that was simply stock footage of the southwest corner of 8th Street & Ocean Drive, in Miami Beach.  The white building seen on that corner in the shot is known as
    Wet Willie's, and is at 750 Ocean Drive.
    Wet Willie's, Miami Beach


Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. Since this was strictly an interior scene (they faked the exterior shot), there were few clues to go on.  The interior was obviously unique, looking more like a living room that a typical cafe, but I couldn't even be sure that the decor was real, and not just some set designer dressing of an empty building.  So my search for the café led nowhere, and I probably never would have found it on my own.

    Fortunately, three years later, in 2011, as I was beginning work on the 6th season, I got an email from a fan, Kyle Disotell, letting me know that it was the interior of the Mirage café.  (Thanks Kyle!)

    Kyle sent me a photo of the interior he had found online, and then I tracked down several other photos (from their webpage), and was able to match enough items in the room to be certain that it was the same place.



The matches include the multicolored, checkered counter (top photo), the arching doorways,
the hanging lamps, and the dark bookcase seen behind Anton (bottom photo).





  I've circled some matching items in red, in the photo blow-ups below.

The photo on the left
is taken from the show.



The photo on the right
is of the Mirage café.


          
Note those five small decorative items on the wall, right above the checkered counter.
  They match up perfectly with the same items seen in that "Dexter" scene.



 
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