Mouthful

First Watch restaurant opening in Cary as Triangle brunch wars heat up

First Watch, a breakfast, lunch and brunch spot with an emphasis on healthy options, is opening its first Cary location. The Cary First Watch will incorporate a new restaurant design, such as this one in Knoxville, Tenn. It will be the third location in the Triangle, and the franchise owner has plans to open nine more locations in North Carolina.
First Watch, a breakfast, lunch and brunch spot with an emphasis on healthy options, is opening its first Cary location. The Cary First Watch will incorporate a new restaurant design, such as this one in Knoxville, Tenn. It will be the third location in the Triangle, and the franchise owner has plans to open nine more locations in North Carolina. FIRST WATCH

The Triangle brunch wars are heating up.

First Watch, a breakfast, lunch and brunch spot with an emphasis on healthy options, is opening its first Cary location on Monday.

It will be the third location in the Triangle, but VIM Holdings, the franchise owner, isn’t stopping in Cary. Nine more locations are set to open across the state within the next six years. That’s seven more locations than a previously announced agreement between First Watch Restaurants and VIM Holdings.

This area includes the Triangle, Fayetteville, Wilmington, New Bern, Jacksonville and Greenville, according to a news release.

Last month, a Famous Toastery franchise owner – Dean and Beth Kessel – announced they would open nine stores across the state in the next five years. Their territory will cover Chapel Hill, Durham, North Raleigh, Wake Forest, Greensboro and Asheville, Dean Kessel said. He said he hopes to open two restaurants a year.

Famous Toastery also is scheduled to open a location in Morrisville in a new development at Weston Corners. The restaurant at 9928 Chapel Hill Road is expected to open in March, according to its Facebook page. It is not affiliated with Kessel’s franchise.

In addition to independendent restaurants that serve brunch, they’re joined by foodie brunch restaurants like the Egg & I (Chapel Hill and Cary), Flying Biscuit Cafe (Raleigh’s Cameron Village) and Another Broken Egg (Cary, Morrisville, Durham and Raleigh). (The Egg & I is owned by First Watch Restaurants Inc.)

First Watch franchise

Robert Frame is the president and founder of VIM Holdings. The franchise group already owns two First Watch restaurants – on Glenwood Avenue in North Raleigh and Capital Boulevard near Triangle Town Center.

The 3,500-square-foot restaurant in Cary is at 1325 Bradford View Drive, next to The Bradford apartments.

The Cary First Watch will incorporate a new restaurant design, according to a news release, which “creates an atmosphere that combines the high energy of city life with comfortable farm elements that highlight our fresh approach to breakfast, brunch and lunch.”

The menu features traditional breakfast and lunch items made with housemade granola, cage-free eggs and organic greens. Other menu items include Avocado Toast, Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, Quinoa Power Bowls and Lemon Ricotta Pancake. The restaurant also has a fresh juice bar.

The entire menu is served daily from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Frame, who has an extensive background in the restaurant industry, also owns Tribeca Hospitality. The company owns Tribeca Tavern – with one near the Cary First Watch – as well as Tribeca Catering and Mash House Brewing Company. That company recently announced it would close its Raleigh Tribeca Tavern so it could expand the First Watch brand and Mash House Brewery product lines.

Jessica Banov: 919-829-4831, @JessicaBanov

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