First Watch Opens First Wisconsin Restaurant

April 25, 2011 // Franchising.com // (Brookfield, WI)--- First Watch, the Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch concept based in Bradenton, Florida, opened its first Milwaukee restaurant on Monday, April 24 at 17550 West Bluemound Road in the Brownstones Shopping Center at Bluemound and Calhoun Roads. The restaurant is being brought to the area by VMB Sunrise Hospitality, Inc., operated by father and son Michael and Vincent Busalacchi. They have agreed to open five First Watch restaurants in the Milwaukee market over the next three to five years.

First Watch features traditional favorites like pancakes, omelets, salads and sandwiches as well as signature items such as the Chickichanga and Fresh Fruit Crepes. All of their menu items are freshly prepared to order.

"We started eating at First Watch in Naples, Fla. and the concept really got our attention since we are in the restaurant business ourselves. I knew I wanted to bring more restaurants to the Milwaukee area and First Watch was the perfect choice," Michael said. "We are really looking forward to growing the brand not just in Milwaukee, but also in the whole state of Wisconsin. We're ready to follow the great job First Watch has been doing since they started."

Michael is a seasoned restaurant operator with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. He currently owns and operates three Culver's restaurants in the Milwaukee area. Michael previously held senior-level operations positions with Culver's and other concepts. VMB Sunrise Hospitality, Inc. is a family business.

"We're confident that First Watch will do well in this market, especially with Michael's great experience in the industry and his knowledge of Milwaukee," said Chris Tomasso, chief marketing officer for First Watch. "We've been looking to expand into the Milwaukee market for a while and believe the market will really enjoy everything First Watch has to offer."

First Watch is the largest and fastest-growing, privately owned, daytime-only restaurant concept in the United States. Of its existing 87 restaurants in 11 states, six are franchised and four are licensed and future growth is expected to come from key multi-unit, regional franchises to experienced restaurateurs in new markets in 35 states throughout the continental U.S. First Watch recently announced new market franchise agreements for Oklahoma City, north central Florida and Iowa. First Watch expects to grow to 115 restaurants by the end of 2012, with a dozen franchised locations open and more than 30 in various stages of development. For more information, visit www.firstwatch.com.

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