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  • Writer's pictureNatalija Ugrina

My Night Behind Bars: A Culinary Adventure at the Old Jailhouse in Sanford

As I stepped through the unassuming doors of the Old Jailhouse Restaurant, I couldn't help but feel a shiver run down my spine. The very cells that once held lawbreakers were now repurposed into intimate dining alcoves, each table adorned with dim light casting an eerie yet inviting glow. The atmosphere was steeped in history, an intriguing backdrop for a dining experience like no other.

Seated in what was once a confinement chamber, I perused the menu, fascinated by the array of dishes that paid homage to the building's storied past.

Dining at the Old Jailhouse Restaurant Sanford Florida
Dining at the Old Jailhouse Restaurant

Constructed in 1890 by the legendary William J. Hill, this building began its journey as a blacksmith and wagon shop. But, hold onto your historical hats because this place has seen more transformations than a chameleon at a carnival!

Fast forward to the early 20th century, and E.E. Brady took the reins, turning the building into the E.E. Brady Livery Feed and Sales Stables from 1910 to 1914. Forget about rental cars; back then, it was all about horsepower—the literal kind!

Old Jailhouse Restaurant

Now, here's where the plot thickens—1914 brings the birth of the Seminole County Jail. This joint housed lawbreakers until 1959, and the remnants of its colorful past are now on display at the Museum of Seminole County History. Dining with a side of handcuffs, anyone?

Post-jail era, this resilient building played host to various endeavors, from housing the Seminole County Health Department to being the domain of Sanford Dry Cleaners. After a stint of vacancy, the building found its saviors in 2017, who embarked on a meticulous restoration journey. The result? A resurrection of the original brickwork, revealing historic details like brick archways, wood double-hung windows, and original jail bars. It's like dining in a living, breathing museum!

Old Jailhouse Restaurant

As you indulge in the culinary delights of the Old Jailhouse Restaurant, take a moment to soak in the unique atmosphere. Imagine the stories embedded in the bricks and the whispers of the past that accompany your meal. It's not just dinner; it's an immersive experience into Sanford's rich history.

And now, for a little extra spice to your historical feast, don't miss the vibrant painted advertising mural on the north wall. It's not just a stroke of color; it's a time capsule that confirms the age of the adjacent old firehouse, dating back to the late 1800s.

In conclusion, Sanford's Old Jailhouse Restaurant isn't just a place to eat—it's a time-traveling adventure for your taste buds and a rendezvous with the past. So, fellow epicurean time-travelers, savor every bite and every historical nuance.

But before you go, how about a bonus treat for the adventurous foodie in you? Drumroll, please! Here are the Top 10 Weirdest Places to Eat in the World!

  1. Alcatraz ER, Tokyo, Japan: Dive into a dining experience that mimics a hospital, complete with IV bag cocktails.

  2. The Clink Restaurant, London, UK: Immerse yourself in the historic setting of a former prison while enjoying gourmet cuisine prepared by inmates undergoing rehabilitation.

  3. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives: Feast with the fishes in a breathtaking underwater setting.

  4. Dinner in the Sky, Worldwide: Elevate your dining experience—literally—while suspended in the air.

  5. The Safe House, Milwaukee, USA: A spy-themed restaurant where you need a password to enter!

  6. Fortezza Medicea, Volterra, Italy: Dine in a former medieval prison, surrounded by centuries-old stone walls.

  7. Modern Toilet, Taipei, Taiwan: Embrace your quirky side with food served in toilet-shaped bowls.

  8. The Clinic, Singapore: Sip your drinks from IV bags in this hospital-themed eatery.

  9. Al Mahara, Dubai, UAE: Enjoy seafood in a restaurant with a floor-to-ceiling aquarium.

  10. The Ice Restaurant, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden: Feast in sub-zero temperatures surrounded by ice sculptures.

Happy adventuring and bon appétit! 🍽️✨ I would love to hear in the comments what is the quirkiest restaurant you've ever experienced? I'm eager to discover more hidden gems from your gastronomic adventures!

Old Jailhouse Restaurant

7,632 views16 comments


vijay tk
vijay tk
May 24

Simple superb 😘


Feb 06

You look beautiful in those photos


Dec 29, 2023



Dec 24, 2023

Beautiful inside and out puts smiles on peoples faces;)


Dec 19, 2023

Hi I'm David from Nigeria I'm your fan's

I followed your channel on WhatsApp please can we chat later 08108979609 please it will be my pleasure to see you thanks

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