First Watch, which has more than 400 restaurants nationwide, announced its expansion into the Windy City region as a part of its strategic growth initiative. The company will debut in Greater Chicago with the opening of its new restaurant in the suburb of Oak Brook, located at 2155 W. 22nd Street on March 15. This extension into Chicagoland marks the 35th First Watch restaurant to open during the past 12 months.
“2021 will be an instrumental year in our company growth story, and we are proud to initiate this next phase of expansion with our entrance into Greater Chicago,” says Chris Tomasso, president and CEO of First Watch. “In such a food-driven city, we are confident that our innovative, cutting-edge menu and our operational enhancements will resonate with local Chicagoans and their lifestyles. We look forward to bringing our reimagined First Watch experience to a new market and setting the tone for the strategic and aggressive growth ahead.”
First Watch’s Chicago restaurants will encompass various features of the brand’s new restaurant format, built to optimize its off-premises capabilities as it anticipates and evolves to meet the changing needs of consumers. With its off-premises business increasing about 600 percent percent since the onset of the pandemic, First Watch’s new 4,300-square-foot restaurant layout offers an enhanced, seamless experience for guests dining off-premises featuring a separate restaurant entrance and service area for takeout and delivery orders. The restaurant’s modern design will feature tall windows that provide bright natural light and an overall elevated dining experience, further building upon First Watch’s Urban Farm design prototype with the addition of warm blue tones, high open ceilings, an open kitchen and a sunroom and patio perfect for having brunch on a beautiful Chicago day.
Coming off the successful launch of First Watch’s alcohol program in 2020, the new restaurant will also feature its rapidly expanding alcoholic beverage program. Guests can enjoy refreshing cocktails featuring First Watch’s fresh squeezed juices and signature creations such as the Cinnamon Toast Cereal Milk made with Coconut rum, cold brew coffee, coconut milk and agave nectar. Of course, whether eating on the patio or inside the beautiful new dining room, Chicagoans can look forward to enjoying First Watch’s signature Project Sunrise coffee, which is grown by an independent group of female farmers in Huila, Colombia (called Mujeres en Café).
First Watch’s curated menu takes an elevated approach to traditional and innovative offerings made to order using farm fresh ingredients, featuring crave-able items such as Avocado Toast, Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, Farm Stand Breakfast Tacos and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. The new restaurant will offer healthy, flavorful favorites like house-made granola and pico de gallo, organic greens, house-roasted vegetables and cage-free eggs as well as more indulgent, traditional breakfast, brunch and lunch offerings.
First Watch plans to open additional locations in Chicagoland over the next several years, starting with a restaurant in Kildeer that is targeting a grand opening for early summer of this year.
First Watch is open for breakfast, brunch and lunch seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
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