It started with a beignet stand in downtown Lakeland and a dream.

Today that dream became a reality as Robyn Wilson and Jarrid Masse opened a dining, retail and entertainment venue they’re calling 801 E. Main after its Main Street address.

The complex still includes the Poor Porker beignet stand, and lines were long at today’s grand opening. Lines should shorten because 801 E. Main will be open Thursdays through Sundays, not just Saturdays.

Customers are encouraged to stay awhile in multiple indoor and outdoor seating areas.

In the evenings, there will be beer and wine and live music.

The complex also includes Bearcat and Big Six Trading Post, a mercantile store, and The Corner Store, which sells specialty foods.

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801 E. Main shows off Robin’s and Jarred’s signature use of found items and vintage furniture. Many think their new business caps a rebirth of East Main Street along with neighbors such as Lakeland Brewing Co., Krap Art and Catapult 2.0.

And it all started with a dream.

(Keep scrolling for short video interviews with 801 E. Main merchants.)

dream sign
A sign in the outdoor bar at 301 E. Main. |

(Many thanks to David Dickey for help with still photography.)

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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