- June 11, 2018
First Watch Restaurants Inc., the Manatee County-based chain that is the nation's largest breakfast and lunch eatery, will debut a new offering later this month in Florence, Ky.
And while First Watch's expansion is hardly new — the chain counts more than 260 restaurants in its portfolio — its latest location represents a sort of homecoming for company president and CEO Ken Pendery Jr.
That's because the new 3,500-square-foot Florence Square location, scheduled to open Oct. 24, will be but a few miles away from Fort Thomas, Ky., where Pendery grew up.
The 7727 Mall Road restaurant also marks First Watch's 11th Cincinnati-area location, and comes nearly a quarter century after the chain opened its first store just over the Kentucky and Ohio state line.
“The people here have been loyal to First Watch since we opened our first Cincinnati location in 1991,” Pendery says in a statement. “They trust us, and we really cherish the relationship we've built with them.”
Though Pendery has built First Watch from Southwest Florida, he still maintains ties to his hometown, thanks to a continuing ownership interest in Cincinnati restaurant The National Exemplar and event venue The Phoenix. Additionally, Pendery's brother, Paul Pendery, is a First Watch regional vice president for the chain's Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Nashville, Tenn., restaurants.
The new Florence Square restaurant will feature the chain's upgraded, farm-inspired design concepts, as well as its latest menu offerings. Like most First Watch eateries, the Florence location will be open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
First Watch now operates in 26 states, under the First Watch, Egg & I, Good Egg and Bread & Co. brand names. The company recently was named a Top Consumer Pick by Nation's Restaurant News and last year was recognized as a “Top Franchise Value” by FSR Magazine, a franchising trade publication.