Dexter Filming Locations: El Mercado (market)

DEXTER Filming Locations - hundreds of actual places where the TV show Dexter was filmed.

The location: El Mercado (market)

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

    A. An Hispanic market.

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

    A. "On E. 4th Street, in Fort Lauderdale."

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 1, of Season 8, "A Beautiful Day".

    Dexter can't reach Debra, so he tracks her down to this market, based on her credit card use.

    Watching from across the street, he is surprised to see that she is hanging out with the guy she is supposed to bring in (Andrew Briggs), and that she lets him grab her butt in public.

    Dexter confronts her inside the store, and tells her he was worried about her.

    But Debra wants nothing to do with him.

    She angrily tells him that she hates him, and that she made a mistake by not shooting him instead of LaGuerta.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. An Hispanic market .

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This is El Mercado #2 Market, at
    1168 E. 4th Street, in Long Beach, CA

    That's at the southwest corner of 4th Street and Orange Avenue, east of downtown LB.

    In real life, this market caters to a Mexican-American customer base, while on the show it is probably supposed to be Cuban-American. But otherwise, they gave us the right name, and even the right street.

    They did fancy it up just a little, though. Check the StreetView of how it used to look.

    That mural of the dancing senorita on the upper left side was added by the set designers, and I think that the colorful paintings of fruit (on both sides of the entrance) were probably added as well.

    Interestingly enough, the Mercado is actually owned by a Palestinian couple, Meriam & Fred Saleh, who opened the store  in 1996.  (Only in America, right?)

    I shot the photo below in 2013.

Here is an aerial photo of the location.  Here is a Google StreetView.
  And here is a map link.
And here is a Google StreetView of the store's interior!

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

    A.  In the early seasons, I usually had to hunt down the locations after viewing the episodes, using clues from the various scenes.  By the now, though, I've developed a small group of fans, spies & tipsters who kept an eye out for Dexter filming in their neighborhoods, and let me know in advance when something is about to film there.

    Between those reports, my own personal reconnaissance around town, and a few new resources I discovered, by the time the new first episode airs, I already know most (but not all) of the filming locations, and only need to watch the episodes and match up the scenes with the correct locations.

    This group of helpful fans includes Rick, Ellen, Suzi, Elaine, Mia, Julie, Kerry, Joel, Eric, Jeff, & others. My thanks to all of them.

    Rick originally gave me this one.  (Thanks, Rick!)

    And Ellen let me know that they were painting the place (on Feb. 15), and sent me this photo of the dancing senorita mural, shortly after the Dexter crew added it, while the paint was still drying:

    (Thanks, Ellen!)

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