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First Watch at Hodges Pointe Plaza is one of three in operation in Jacksonville. Three more sites are identified.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Mar. 29, 201712:00 PM EST

First Watch jobs to total 150, seeking 3 more sites


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.

‘Retired, Not Tired’ to review economic trends

The Urban Land Institute North Florida District Council plans a morning to discuss how the population of people age 55 and over will influence lifestyles, the economy and innovations in real estate.

“Retired, Not Tired” is 8:30-11:30 a.m. April 6 at the Jessie Ball duPont Center, 40 E. Adams St.

Speakers are Peter Rummell, chair of RummellMunz Partners; Paul Basham, president and founder of Basham & Lucas Design; Lisa Dilts, principal of Comspring; Craig Linsky, a mentor with SCORE Jacksonville; and Diane Trees, associate vice president of the University of Central Florida Division of Community Relations.

They are expected to discuss the impact of Florida’s 55-plus population’s intentions in retirement and the role of the housing and construction environment.

Trends, responses and statewide opportunities are part of the conversation.

Cost is $25 for members and $35 for non-members. For information, visit

Work on Barrique should start next week

Build-out is pending for Barrique of Avondale, a kitchen and wine bar at 3563 St. Johns Ave.

Partner Greg Bartolotta said his team just landed approvals, and construction should start next week. He anticipates a late August opening.

NEFCON is the contractor for the $550,000 project to remodel the 5,030-square-foot space for the restaurant.

The space is the former Cowford Traders store in The Shoppes of Avondale.

It will seat 100 diners and is expected to be similar to the Barrique Kitchen & Wine Bar in Babylon, N.Y. That location features more than 150 wines, a full bar, small-plate rustic food, artisanal cheeses, thin-crust pizza, mini desserts and more.

Owners Richard Rapp and BMR Dining Group LLC of Ponte Vedra Beach registered the Barrique of Avondale name with the state as of Jan. 3.

Rapp is the agent for BMR Dining, whose members include him, Joseph Murphy of Ponte Vedra Beach and Bartolotta of Wantagh, N.Y.

The 100 dining seats are a number agreed upon during the zoning process.

Bartolotta said décor will be reminiscent of an Old World winery or wine cellar, with reclaimed wood, brick and stucco. Rapp described it as intimate with “Old European charm.”

Bartolotta described Barrique Kitchen & Wine Bar as a small plate concept with an emphasis on sharing. The menu will be global, but with a Mediterranean slant. The wine selection will consist of a majority in the $30-$40 range, with most being under $100 a bottle.

He said Barrique will be open daily for lunch, dinner, late-night dining, and Saturday and Sunday brunch, along with catering. He expects a staff of about 30 full- and part-time employees.

The main dining room will accommodate more than 50 customers.

Between two private dining rooms, one will have space for 10-14 seats while another can serve up to 30.

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