By Brad Stager
The Bloomingdale Ave. corridor is getting not one, but two First Watch restaurants, with one of them serving alcoholic beverages.
One restaurant is in Winthrop Town Centre at the former The Egg & I location, with an opening scheduled for October 19.
The second restaurant will be located near the entrance to Bloomingdale Square, with an opening slated for some time in November. It will be a newly-constructed 3,500 sq. ft. restaurant and is part of the shopping center’s big makeover, which has been going on for about the last year. Its opening is scheduled for some time in November.
The Bloomingdale Square restaurant will serve alcoholic beverages to go along with menu items like Braised Short Rib Benedict and Chile Chorizo Omelet. It is one of 25 locations where First Watch is serving alcohol and the only in the Tampa Bay area to do so.
The drink menu will emphasize curated cocktails, so diners can enjoy a Million Dollar Bloody Mary served with a slice of the restaurant’s highly valued Million Dollar Bacon. The restaurant will not stock a full bar, so mixed drink options will be limited, but beer and wine will be available.
According to First Watch Corporate Chef and Vice President of Culinary Strategy Shane Schaibly, the venture into serving alcohol in the company’s restaurants is just one part of evolving to suit customers’ tastes and there are plenty of fresh ingredients to a First Watch dining experience.
“If you haven’t been to a First Watch in five years, you’re going to find that everything within our four walls has been impacted,” he said.
Known for its breakfast and lunch-oriented menu, served with a lot of natural light and an open kitchen to set the dining atmosphere, First Watch is the largest daytime-only restaurant chain in the country with almost 400 restaurants across the country, and as the two new locations opening in short order within our neighborhood suggest, it is growing fast.
First Watch restaurants are open daily from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.