Fast-growing First Watch plans 5 local restaurants

November 3, 2011
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First Watch CafePatachou is getting some new competition. A breakfast-and-lunch chain called First Watch plans to open at least five new locations in the Indianapolis area, starting with a restaurant across 86th Street from The Fashion Mall at Keystone. The restaurant is set to replace Sunrise Cafe in early 2012. The Bradenton, Fla.-based company also is scouting for locations in Carmel, Greenwood and in the vicinity of West 86th Street. First Watch offers made-to-order pancakes, omelets, salads and sandwiches and boasts it does not use microwaves, deep fryers or heat lamps. The chain has more than 90 restaurants in 13 states but plans to grow to 115 locations by the end of 2012.

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  • Hmm . . .
    I used to eat at this joint quite frequently when I lived in Sarasota, and there are a few in the Cincinnati area. It's a pretty nice restaurant, but I really question how well it will do in this market, with Patachou and Hoaglin's (its two closest competitors and each probably superior), Taste, Le Peep (probably a notch lower) . . .
  • Competition
    I doubt that this will give Martha Hoover any real competition. Based on their location, they seem very suburban. Yes, she has branched out to the suburbs some. However, as long as Martha focuses her efforts on the urban core and urban neighborhoods she can easily maintain a stronghold there.
  • Finally a healthy choice
    Great news for Indianapolis and the surrounding areas. Patachou needs the competition as their food is not on the top of the "health" or "flavor" list. Their Cinnamon Sugar, butter dripping textra thick toast is loaded with callories, sugars and fats. They do not use many "organic" ingredients. There's lots of fat and little flavor in their egg, chicken and tuna salads. I looked at First Watch's menu on line and am eagerly awaiting their opening!








  • Pata-Boo
    Wish people would get off the Patachou bandwagon. The food really isn't THAT great, especially when one considers how overpriced it is for what you get.
  • I Pick Local
    Patachou has remained dedicated to giving us local, organic and REAL food. Although they are not inexpensive, they are fair for the quality they provide. I for one will remain dedicated to Patachou and question any naysayers that do not understand "True Quality".
    • Fair?
      I understand "true quality", Jessica. What I don't understand is why others find it acceptable to pay $8.50 for a piece of toasted bread with a couple slices of avocado, tomato and cheese; then justify their purchase under the notion of "quality". Quality doesn't cost that much! I am, however, happy to shell out $8.50 for brunch at Taste or Zest. Their quality is just as superb and their menus are at least half-way creative.
    • Let's Compare...
      I have a rental property in Sarasota and have had breakfast at First Watch numerous times. It does remind you of a Le Peep or other chain. Their menu has some 'too cute' names and some of the food, especially the potatoes seems to be right from the corporate commisary. You can tell the marketing department is hard at work. I would call the food 'average' at best...but yes, it's less expensive than Patachou where being trendy seems to add 15% to the tab. Actually, in Indianpolis, the best place to go for a great breakfast is Lincoln Square Pancake House at 56th & Emerson. Nice people, quality food, fair prices, generous servings...what's not to like. Beats any chain hands down.
    • atmosphere
      Food is just one half of the equation. Location and atmosphere is the other half. I think that's what's hard to replicate about breakfast places in Broad Ripple (e.g. Three Sisters, Taste, Petite Chou, Zest, Patachou...)
    • No Reason To Get Excited
      Have eaten at First Watch many times, back when I lived in Cincinnati years ago and in Columbus, OH much more recently. It is definitely on the level of Le Peep. As BRGuy mentioned above, the quality of much of the food is right about the level of a "corporate commissary".

      They also focus on strip malls in the 'burbs, so they won't be a concern for Martha or Hoaglin or Taste anytime soon.

      Also, looking at the online menu (their website sucks, by the way!) it's pretty easy to see the "healthiness" of the food is just marketing hype. Aside from an egg white omelet with dry toast, most of their food is fat and sodium bombs, just like everyone else.
    • "Foodie"
      Dear Foodie, you really should educate yourself before you make generalizations. I happen to know that Patachou uses local eggs (arguably more than anyone else in the city) that come from sustainable farms, and they buy a great deal of local produce. Just because a farm doesn't have the financial resources to become "certified organic", doesn't mean that they aren't organic. If you don't like the cinnamon toast, don't order it...there are plenty that do and will. By supporting local restaurants, you are supporting a healthy local food economy. The farms, sustainable farming practices, and healthy eating in general are all supported. I can assure you, First Watch does't come close to supporting a healthy lifestyle when you look at all of the peripheral "costs". Spend your money locally, and the health of your community will benefit.
      • Couldn't have said it better
        Way to go. This is so much better than supporting a chain-store operation.
      • First Watch, Indy
        Do hope you open in Greenwood, Ind. We could really use you on the southside. No place like it for breakfast or lunch.

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