First Watch Expands Footprint to the Windy City with First Chicagoland Restaurant Opening
Leading breakfast, brunch and lunch concept will open its first restaurant in Greater Chicago on March 15, bullish on strategic growth and extensive evolution amid pandemic
CHICAGO – February 17, 2021 – First Watch, the nation’s leading breakfast, brunch and lunch concept operating more than 400 restaurants nationwide, today 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, 2021. This extension into Chicagoland marks the 35th First Watch restaurant to open during the past 12 months. The brand continues to overcome environmental challenges and grow in key markets across the United States, and evolve to meet the growing demand and changing needs of its customers.
“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,” said 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-premise capabilities as it anticipates and evolves to meet the changing needs of consumers. With its off-premise business increasing about 600% 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-premise 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. Locals interested in staying up-to-date with the latest news of the new Oak Brook restaurant are encouraged to sign-up for First Watch’s pre-opening VIP List by visiting firstwatch.com/locations/oak-brook.
About First Watch
First Watch is a high-growth daytime restaurant concept serving made-to-order breakfast, brunch and lunch using fresh ingredients. A recipient of more than 300 local “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” accolades, First Watch offers traditional favorites, such as pancakes, omelets, sandwiches and salads, alongside specialty items like Quinoa Power Bowls, Avocado Toast and the Chickichanga. First Watch was recognized as Nation’s Restaurant News’ top Consumer Pick in the breakfast category as well as the coffee category for its Project Sunrise coffee program in 2019. It was also named one of TripAdvisor’s Best Restaurant Chains for 2019 and one of Business Intelligence Group’s Best Places to Work in 2018. There are more than 400 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. For more information, visit firstwatch.com.