ORLANDO, Fla. - Medina Grocery Store and Restaurant opened up in the 1970's. Owners, Luisa and Rafael Medina, opened up the Latin American store in Orlando after moving from Cuba.
After 43 successful years, the couple is retiring. The store, located at East Washington Street in Orlando, has become a staple not only in the Hispanic community.
If you drive by the location, now, the lights are off, brown paper covers the windows, insulation fills the inside and the parking lot sits empty. It is hard to believe the store was bustling since the 1970's. There was even a jewelry store at one point.
The family was also well known for the Medina Festival, the longest running Latin festival lasting more than 20 years.
Ernie Rodriguez was a regular customer, going in every Saturday morning for warm bread and Cuban coffee. "They are the nicest people, everybody loves them around here," said Rodriguez. "I don't think you could find anyone that would have a bad word to say about them. What a loss for us. It's a neighborhood place where you'd see people that you don't generally see all the time."
Politicians, law enforcement officers, friends, family and fans all arrived to Monday's city council meeting where Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer proclaimed June 3rd as Medina's Grocery Day.
Former U.S. Senator, Mel Martinez, told Local 6, "Looking at the room, it was like looking into Medina's and you'd seen these faces over the years, so it was a really great moment."
Rumors are now swirling as to what will go in the store's place, meanwhile, the Medina's say they plan to go out of town for a month and rest.
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