As previously announced, the former Cinco Tacos + Tequila building, which was Carmel Cafe before that, will become a First Watch. The new news is that it will be a flagship of the Florida based daytime cafe and a prototype for future First Watches.
There are several notable things about the new design, and not just that the tacky fake grass that Cinco tacked on the outside is gone. It will have a bar and incorporate the cocktail menu that is currently available only at the East Orlando First Watch. What’s more, there will be an indoor and outdoor bar.
And, next to the outside bar, a patio with a more loungey vibe than you’d find at other First Watch restaurants. Perfect for a boozy brunch.
Making better use of the outside grew out of the situation restaurants are currently facing. This particular First Watch was originally meant to open in July. But when the corporate office decided to close all restaurants nationwide in April, the design began to change to reflect that way people are dining now.
So to that end, the kitchen at the new First Watch will have two separate cook lines, one dedicated solely to preparing takeout and delivery orders. And there will be a separate entrance for people to pickup those orders.
Chris Tomasso, president and CEO of First Watch, said in a statement that one of the company’s keys to success was the ability to evolve. “That evolution for us was fast-tracked during 2020,” he said, “and we used this opportunity to think outside the box and offer an even more enjoyable experience for our customers, whether they choose to dine in our restaurant or take brunch home.” Prior to the pandemic, First Watch did not have a takeout or delivery program.
Along with the opening of the flagship First Watch, which is now scheduled for March, the Maitland location, which is the oldest in the area at 27 years, will be closed. So Maitlanders will have to go that extra mile to the new place. Or, extra 1.5 miles to be precise.