History of Downtown Stuart, Florida | Premier Realty Group

History of Downtown Stuart, Florida


Pick a sidewalk, any sidewalk. With each step there is a new discovery to be made. Looking for a slice of pizza and garlic knots that will change your life? The only choice is Luna's. A short walk across the street reveals a sweet smell that every resident knows. Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream, where every piece of homemade chocolate seems like it is touched by an angel- seriously it's that good! I could go on and on about the magic that is Downtown Stuart. The perfect marriage of history and ongoing progress, Downtown Stuart has been the center of our town since the 1880s and it's history is something that is truly special. 

Early Stuart History  

Originally named "Potsdam" after a town in Germany, Downtown Stuart's pioneer days began in the 1800s and 1890s. Very different from what we know today, originally there were no grocery stores, markets, electric, community events, churches etc. A handful of settlers mostly of German origin, collected along the shores of the St. Lucie River. The arrival of the railroad came in 1894, which marked the next chapter of progress in Downtown Stuart.


By the late 1890s and early 1900s, a few businesses appeared in Downtown Stuart. The Walter Kitching Store was the first store in Downtown Stuart facing the railroad station in 1897. The close of the 1910s had the most significant item for Stuart, a concrete auto bridge across the St. Lucie River that opened in 1918 and then a bridge across the South Fork from Stuart to Palm City. 

The Boom 

The 1920's brought a significant boom of businesses, hotels, shops, churches and entertainment for a growing population now measured at 1,000 people. The boom area came to a close by hurricanes which scared off many investors, and the Great Depression affecting the entire nation. The residents that choose to stay in Stuart during this time recovered by the 1940s and from there Stuart flourished

Downtown Stuart Today- Dining, Shopping and community events!

Today the streets of Downtown Stuart are lined with colorful shops, award-winning restaurants for a variety of palates, a variety of fun community culture events, and more! One of our personal favorite must-see stops in Downtown is the Riverwalk boardwalk that runs along the St. Lucie River. Be sure to stop by at night while the Roosevelt bridge sparkles! 


  •  Luna Italian Cuisine
  • Spritz City Bistro 
  • Stuart Boathouse 
  • Cafe Martier @ Post Office Arcade 
  • Duffy's Sports Grill 
  • Osceola Street Cafe 
  • The Gafford 
  • Black Marlin 
  • Riverwalk Cafe and Oyster Bar 
  • LouRonzo's Italian Fusion
  • Lush Lounge
  • Mulligans
  • Stuart Coffee
  • Maria's Cafe
  • Kilwins Chocolates and Ice Cream


  • Aphrodite Shopping
  • April Daze 
  • Clam Shell Clothiers 
  • Decorators Finest
  • The Dirty Hippie 
  • The Gilt Complex
  • Gumbo Limbo and Gumbo Limbo kidz
  • Gypsea Cottage 
  • Harbor Wear 
  • Island Cotton 
  • Matilda's 
  • O'Sole Mio
  • Radiant Outfitters 
  • Rare Earth Gallery 
  • Sandy Bar Cove
  • Sandal Shack 
  • Simple Pleasures Bath and Body 
  • Snappy Shack
  • Tootsies
  • VictoriaRose


Interested in calling Stuart or the surrounding Treasure Coast areas home? We would love to help! 

In 1958, The Bohner family bought property at the gateway to Hutchinson Island and established a family-owned real estate company. Today, that company is still family owned. As Premier Realty Group, the company headquarters remain at its original site, but it has grown to a 8,000 sq. ft. landmark building. The company is highly respected in the community for its integrity, high standards and professionalism.