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Leading Manatee County restaurant chain opens new Tampa Bay location

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  • | 1:30 p.m. November 20, 2023
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There are more than 500 First Watch locations spread over nearly 30 states.
There are more than 500 First Watch locations spread over nearly 30 states.
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  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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First Watch, the east Manatee County-based daytime dining restaurant serving breakfast, brunch and lunch, says it has opened its first location in Apollo Beach.

The restaurant at 6596 N. U.S. Highway 41 "brings a chef-inspired menu and rotating seasonal offerings to a 4,000-square-foot space that seats more than 150 people, offers outside dining under a covered patio and serves signature housemade fresh juices and cocktails at an indoor-outdoor bar," the company says in a statement.

"For nearly 30 years, we've loved being part of our community's morning occasion across Tampa Bay, so we thought it was time to bring our experience closer to home for our neighbors in Apollo Beach," says Carmen Rundell, vice president of operations at First Watch. "While this restaurant marks our ninth in Hillsborough County, it is opening with an entirely new build and design that gives our customers more ways to enjoy brunch their way."

First Watch's menu includes avocado toast, lemon ricotta pancakes and million-dollar bacon. It says it makes juice in-house daily and brews its "socially responsible Project Sunrise coffee, sourced by women coffee farmers based in South America."

To celebrate the opening, customers who dine in at Apollo Beach from today to Friday will receive a free cup of Project Sunrise coffee with their meal.

First Watch says it offers a revolving seasonal menu that follows the position of the sun to source quality ingredients, wherever and whenever they are in season. This evolving menu has featured specialties like the Barbacoa Quesadilla Benedict and Watermelon Wake-Up fresh juice, among others, First Watch says.

The new restaurant will offer its first seasonal menu in January 2024.

The restaurant employs approximately 30 people and operates on a one-shift a day, "No Night Shifts Ever" approach that enables its teams to enjoy their evenings and build a better quality of life, the company says. 

First Watch is a concept serving made-to-order breakfast, brunch and lunch using fresh ingredients. In 2023, First Watch was recognized as the top restaurant brand in Yelp's inaugural list of the top 50 most-loved brands in the U.S. There are more than 500 First Watch restaurants in 29 states, and the restaurant concept is majority-owned by Advent International, one of the world’s largest private-equity firms. It had $730.16 million in revenue in 2022. 


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