First Watch brunch eatery wins new fans, raises money for charity
After enjoying breakfast with his wife and a friend at Macomb County’s second First Watch brunch eatery, Utica Mayor Thom Dionne considers himself a fan.
“I am now,” Dionne said Sunday afternoon. “This place is amazing — it’s next level.”
First Watch, which formally opens to the public on Monday, held a two-day soft opening over the weekend that also served as a fundraiser for Yatooma’s Foundation for the Kids. Organizers said the charity was hoping for several thousand dollars in donations.
It’s located in a multi-tenant building east of BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse on Hall Road in Sterling Heights. The first First Watch is in neighboring Shelby Township.
First Watch specializes in breakfast and lunch dishes with a healthy twist.
Its menu is packed with a variety of egg dishes, waffles, omelets, power bowls, French toast, sandwiches and salads. Items include avocado toast, farm stand breakfast tacos, smoked ham and Gruyere cheese omelets, and multi-grain pancakes. There’s also the million dollar bacon, four slices of smoked bacon baked with brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne and a maple syrup drizzle.
Dionne, who works as a police officer in Grosse Pointe Farms, was enjoying a meal with his wife, Susan, and their friend Kelly Calandrino, wife of Utica Councilman Gus Calandrino.
The mayor said he’s trying to eat a more healthy diet and found First Watch’s menu “fits right in with what we’re trying to do.”
“The food is amazing and delicious,” Susan Dionne added.
The Florida-based chain invested more than $1.1 million into the 3,600-square-foot eatery, which has a modern rustic farmhouse feel to it.
On Saturday and Sunday, invited community members were waited on by 30 servers undergoing training. In return, organizers hoped the diners would make a contribution to Yatooma’s Foundation for the Kids.
“We love giving back to the community. We felt like this was a great opportunity to partner with Yatooma’s Foundation to try to help them out a little and give back to them as well,” said Curtis Moore, the restaurant’s general manager.