Dexter Filming Locations: Tito's Bar


The location: Tito's Bar.

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

    A. A lower-class bar.

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

    A. In an otherwise empty strip mall, at 4745 W. 37th Ave, in Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 1 (of Season 4), "Living the Dream".

    Dexter is stalking his next victim, former boxer Benito Gomez, who has beaten at least two people to death.

    Dexter was the blood specialist at his trial, but was so tired from looking after his new baby that he brought the wrong notes to trial, and, as a result, Gomez walked.

    Dexter sees opportunity in the foul-up, since it gives him a chance to kill Benny himself.

    After some establishing shots of a bad Miami neighborhood (borrowed from the first season), we see Dexter sitting outside Tito's Bar.

    Dexter is looking at a file filled with photos of Benito's victims, while Benny is inside at the bar, drinking a beer.

    Dexter watches as Gomez leaves the bar, walks to his truck, and drives away.

    We see it again, later in the same episode, when, after prepping a kill room at a nearby gym, Dexter is once again sitting outside the bar in his car, waiting for Benny to come out, so he can kill him.

    But Dexter is so tired (from staying up with his new baby) that he falls asleep in his car.

    He's awakened by a policeman with a flashlight, who assumes he's drunk. When the cop learns that Dexter works for the police department, he's lets him go with a warning. But while he's being delayed by the cop, Benito Gomez comes out of the bar and slips away.

    Dexter eventually catches up with him at his home, and kills him at an old gym.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. It's definitely not a bar. It's an industrial/warehouse property, far from Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. At 590 S. Santa Fe Ave, on the gritty side of downtown Los Angeles.

    It's on the east side of Santa Fe, in the industrial/warehouse section of downtown. The property lies just north of the 6th Street bridge, and just west of the railroad tracks.

    The address is listed as "BASF Corp", which makes plastics, but if you Google the address, you'll see that it is used frequently as a filming location for TV shows like "Lie to Me" and "Cold Case".  In fact, as of 2009, there was a banner on the side of the building reading "Film Site Rental".

    In the scene, we are looking at the north side of the building, near Santa Fe & Willow, which faces a fenced parking lot. They put a big sign reading "Tito's Bar" at the top of that north side, a smaller sign over the door, lit up the inside with colorful lights, and added enough of a bar interior to make it look authentic from the door.

    The photos below were shot by Mike, of

    (Thanks, Mike!)

    Below is a Google Panorama of the building used as Tito's Bar:

      (Warning: This isn't a great part of town - a bit too close to Skid Row, so it's probably not a place you want to go.)

      Here is an aerial photo.  And here is a map link.

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

    A.  I came across a short list of downtown filming notifications (designed to warn downtown residents about filming that might affect their lives), and there were three Dexter filmings listed.  This one on Santa Fe, and two nearby on 6th Street.

    Using Google StreetView (see above), I was able to match the north side of the building with the shot of "Tito's Bar" from the show.

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