Commercial Real Estate, Capital, Insurance, Leasing & Management

First Watch jobs to total 150, seeking 3 more sites

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Franklin Street is First Watch’s exclusive tenant representative in North Florida.

First Watch, The Daytime Café, is on track to employ at least 150 people in the area with its existing and new restaurants.

Spokeswoman Eleni Kouvatsos said Tuesday the restaurants will hire 25 employees at each outlet. Three locations are open; three more are planned.

The former Corner Bakery space in Brooklyn Station on Riverside is the latest site that Kouvatsos said will open in the fall.

She said the interior of the 4,000-square-foot building, at 192 Riverside Ave., will be completely renovated.

“The Riverside neighborhood continues to grow, and we feel that there is a great need for a quality restaurant that serves breakfast all day,” she said.

Kouvatsos said the tenant mix is ideal for First Watch. “It was very competitive to secure this high-profile location, but the landlord agreed that we were the best fit for this space,” she said.

Brooklyn Station is anchored by The Fresh Market and includes other restaurants and retailers. Jacksonville-based Regency Centers Corp. is the landlord.

The Sarasota-based breakfast-brunch-lunch restaurant opened in August 2011 in the South Beach Regional Shopping Center in Jacksonville Beach; in September 2011 in the Riverplace Shopping Center in Mandarin; and in July 2012 at Hodges Pointe Plaza.

The next three should open by year-end.

Kouvatsos said the First Watch restaurants at Village Commons along Southside Boulevard should open by June and at the Shoppes at Bartram Park along Old St. Augustine Road by year-end.

“We are actively pursuing more locations within the Jacksonville area, although we don’t currently have any additional locations to announce,” she said.

Carrie Smith, managing director for the Franklin Street real estate company, is First Watch’s exclusive tenant representative in North Florida.

Smith said First Watch needs 3,200 to 4,000 square feet of space.

She said the market could accommodate a First Watch in North Jacksonville, such as the River City Marketplace area; West Jacksonville; and St. Augustine.

“It’s never easy to find locations these days because it is a highly competitive market,” she said.

She pointed out that First Watch is a table-service restaurant instead of fast-casual, which offers counter service and table delivery, which differentiates it.

“We will continue to aggressively do deals,” Smith said.

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