Polk County Developments

First Watch to open new Winter Haven eatery on Cypress Gardens Boulevard

Hill Gray Seven has signed breakfast-lunch eatery First Watch for the end-cap space on this SunTrust-anchored multi-tenant retail project in Winter Haven.

Florida-based First Watch, a restaurant chain that serves breakfast, brunch and lunch, will continue a Central Florida expansion with its first location in Winter Haven.

"From Lakeland to Orlando, within the last year, First Watch has doubled our footprint," spokeswoman Eleni Kouvatsos told GrowthSpotter.


In the last year, First Watch has opened new restaurants in ChampionsGate, Oviedo, Clermont, Waterford Lakes, Lake Mary and two in Lakeland. Three more Orlando locations at West Windermere, South International Drive and Lake Nona are in development, putting the chain on course for 15 units in Greater Orlando.

All new First Watch restaurants are designed with an "urban farmhouse" theme that mixes industrial materials with reclaimed wood and a warm color palette.

"We have an extensive real estate and development team, and they look at a lot of different factors when we decide where to open a new store," Kouvatsos said. "Taking into effect population, income levels, schools and medical services, Winter Haven is one of those communities where we felt we could grow."


The restaurant has signed a lease for an end-cap unit at Winter Hill Plaza, a 14,100-square-foot retail plaza at the corner of Cypress Gardens Boulevard and Sixth Street. Hill Gray Seven is the developer.

Kouvatsos said First Watch is aiming for a Spring 2019 opening. The restaurant will utilize the company's new Urban Farmhouse prototype, as of now it's not planned to serve alcohol.

The project involved the redevelopment of a SunTrust bank building on the 2-acre corner parcel. SunTrust will occupy the other end-cap space, downsizing from the two-story 26,300-square-foot building to 3,500 square feet with a separate drive-up kiosk.

Pacific Dental has also signed a lease, leaving just 3,900 square feet available. That space could be lease to a single tenant or subdivided.

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