First Watch Opens First Restaurant in Ocala

First Watch Opens First Restaurant in Ocala

Award-winning Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch restaurant First Watch continues its expansion in Florida this week with the opening of its first restaurant in Ocala. The new 3,600 sq. ft. restaurant, located at 3411 S.W. 36th Terrace in College Plaza, a redeveloped retail center on Southwest College Road across from the Paddock Mall, features a 1,000 sq. ft. patio and is now the 35th First Watch in the home state of Florida.

This is the second franchised location owned and operated locally by FW Florida, Inc., led by President Joe Cody. FW Florida is a multi-unit, multi-brand franchised restaurant operator with 35 years experience in the restaurant industry. FW Florida, Inc. also operates a First Watch restaurant in The Villages at 1568 Bella Cruz Drive, Lady Lake, Fla. The company plans to open five First Watch restaurants over the coming years throughout North Central Florida, including Gainesville. Each restaurant is expected to employ about 25 local employees.

The College Plaza retail center took the place of a redeveloped Shoney’s restaurant that was expanded into an 11,000 sq. ft. space. First Watch joins Aspen Dental, Mattress Firm and Weight Watchers in the newly developed retail center.

“We are extremely proud and excited to bring First Watch to Ocala,” said Joe Cody, president of FW Florida, Inc. “We have a great menu featuring items made from only the freshest ingredients. We believe this, along with our great local staff, is the recipe needed for success.”

The restaurant features a new interior design concept known as “Connect.” It “connects” traditional First Watch design elements with contemporary executions by maximizing natural light provided during the restaurant’s daytime hours, and incorporating color tones intended to convey the warm and inviting personality of the First Watch brand. The design also accentuates an open-kitchen concept, which reinforces First Watch’s honest approach to fresh food preparation.

A recipient of more than 200 “Best Of” accolades in markets across the country, First Watch features traditional favorites including pancakes, omelets, salads and sandwiches, as well as signature specialties such as the Chickichanga®, Healthy Turkey Omelet™ and Fresh Fruit Crepes. All menu items are freshly prepared to order and the restaurant does not use deep fryers or heat lamps.

In addition to serving unique and fresh entrées, First Watch offers its exclusive Sunrise Select® Premium Blend Coffee. The special blend is made from slow-roasted, hand-selected, high-grown Panamanian, Colombian and Mexican coffee beans.

First Watch serves its entire menu seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The restaurant also offers guests complimentary newspapers and free Wi-Fi Internet access.

For First Watch franchise information, visit

First Watch Opens First Restaurant in Ocala

First Watch has specialized in award-winning, made-to-order Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch for nearly 30 years. A recipient of more than 200 “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” accolades, First Watch offers traditional favorites such as omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and salads, to unique specialty items like the fan-favorite Chickichanga® and Fresh Fruit Crepes. It is currently the largest and fastest-growing daytime-only restaurant concept in the U.S. with nearly 100 restaurants in 14 states and additional units under development as part of the Bradenton, Fla.-based company’s aggressive growth strategy. For more information, visit