It was a dark, chilly morning when FishHawk’s highly anticipated Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins opened their doors, but the 5 a.m. opening time and weather didn’t deter hungry patrons from being first in line when its doors opened.
Local residents Jonathan Rosano and Will Power lined up at 4 a.m., eager to order a cup of coffee and donuts.
“We both work at Publix and found out it was opening so [we] thought it would be fun to come and be able to say we were its first customers,” said Rosano.
Located across from Newsome High School at 16645 FishHawk Blvd., Dunkin’ is decked out in the next-generation design concept that was introduced by the brand in 2018, which includes an eight-headed cold beverage tap system and Nitro cold brew, a glass bakery case that gives customers a better view of the donuts, free Wi-Fi, two drive-thru lanes and indoor and outdoor seating.
In addition to the new look, customers in a hurry can use On-the-Go mobile ordering through the Dunkin’ app and pick it up by either walking in-store or in the drive-thru lane dedicated for mobile orders.
In addition to its iconic donuts, the menu features easy-to-eat items such as its meat-free Beyond Sausage breakfast sandwich, burrito bowls and a power breakfast sandwich consisting of a veggie egg white omelet with spinach, peppers, onions, turkey sausage and American cheese on multigrain sandwich bread topped with seeds and rolled oats.
Owners Nick and Thomas Apostoleres are no first-time franchisees. The FishHawk Dunkin’ is their 18th store in the Tampa Bay area.
Nick’s parents opened a Dunkin’ in Brandon in 1973 and he started working in their store when he was 14.
“I would go to the store every day before and after school,” he said. “I was making $1.50 an hour and I loved it.”
As Nick became an adult and opened his own stores, Thomas also grew up working for his dad.
“I’m third-generation Dunkin’,” he said.
Even before the store opening, the Apostoleres’ were putting down roots in the community by generously sponsoring local sports teams and PTAs.
“FishHawk has been yelling out ‘we want Dunkin’’ for years,” said Nick. “We are here now and want to be a part of this community.”
The store will host a grand opening celebration on Saturday, December 7 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with free prize giveaways, donut decorating for the kids, entertainment and a visit from the Dunkin’ mascot. Dunkin’ FishHawk is open Sunday-Thursday from 5 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 a.m.-12 Midnight.