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A restaurant chain best known for breakfast is expanding in Florida. There’s free coffee

First Watch, a Florida-based restaurant chain dishing up breakfast, brunch and lunch, plans to open several new Tampa Bay locations by the summer.

A new Bradenton restaurant is opening in a former Panera Bread space and will seat nearly 190 people. A Lakewood Ranch location is going into space formerly occupied by Nancy’s Bar-B-Q.

The proposed opening schedule for the Manatee County restaurants was included in a First Watch news release Monday, announcing four new restaurants in the Tampa Bay area.

A new First Watch restaurant, seating more than 160, opened Monday in Brandon at 2326 W. Brandon Blvd. The fourth restaurant named in the news release is planned in downtown Tampa, and would also open in the summer of 2024.

First Watch locations also dot South Florida, including in Doral, Miami Lakes, Blue Lagoon, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Skylake, Cooper City, Plantation and Dania Beach.

Bradenton-based First Watch expands chain

Lemon ricotta pancakes is one of the fan favorites at First Watch restaurants. The Bradenton-based company has more than 500 restaurants in 29 states.
Lemon ricotta pancakes is one of the fan favorites at First Watch restaurants. The Bradenton-based company has more than 500 restaurants in 29 states.

“Once a community staple for nearly two decades, First Watch’s first Tampa-based restaurant closed late last year to make way for the One Tampa condo tower,” a company spokesman said. The new location is at 400 North Tampa.

The four restaurants announced Monday by the Bradenton-based chain would bring to more than 35 First Watch locations in the Tampa Bay area.

“Almost 40 years ago, our founders Ken Pendery and John Sullivan brought First Watch to this region in pursuit of sunshine and something new, and ever since, this community has embraced us with open arms,” Matt Eisenacher, chief brand officer at First Watch, said in the news release.

“Our newest restaurants, with their expansive patios and indoor-outdoor bars, promise to level up our brunch occasion and stand as the best taste of what’s to come in the year ahead,” he said.

Among fan favorites at First Watch are avocado toast and lemon ricotta pancakes.

Customers who dine in at the Brandon restaurant through Friday and at the new Bradenton restaurant Dec. 11-15 will receive a free cup of Project Sunrise coffee with their meal.

Together, these four new restaurants will employ about 120 people while operating on a one-shift-a-day approach.

Hours and delivery

Avocado toast is one of the fan favorites at First Watch restaurants. The Bradenton-based company has more than 500 restaurants in 29 states.
Avocado toast is one of the fan favorites at First Watch restaurants. The Bradenton-based company has more than 500 restaurants in 29 states.

First Watch serves its entire menu seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. for pickup, delivery and dine-in service. To place an order or join a digital waitlist, guests can download the First Watch app or visit firstwatch.com.