First Watch, a daytime-only restaurant chain, announced Monday that its first Lexington location will be at the intersection of Man o' War Boulevard and Richmond Road.
The 3,500-square-foot restaurant, which is expected to open in the fall, will take the spot that was formerly Ruth's Bridal. Ruth's Bridal has moved further up Richmond Road near Chipotle at the intersection of Mt. Tabor Road.
The location is the first of what's expected to be eight First Watch restaurants in Lexington and Louisville over the next five years. The chain has been in the Cincinnati area for several years, and it has two restaurants in Northern Kentucky.
The locally franchised First Watch restaurants will be operated by the Holland Rosen Group. Business partners Gary Holland and Ron Rosen, founders of Holland Rosen Group, LLC, are the largest franchisees of Skyline Chili, with restaurants in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, and also franchise La Rosa's Pizza restaurants.
First Watch specializes in pancakes, omelets, salads and sandwiches, and signature items including the Chickichanga, healthy turkey omelet and fresh fruit crepes. The restaurant says it does not use microwaves, deep-fryers or heat lamps.
The future restaurant space's former occupant Ruth's Bridal moved in December, said co-owner Diane Cornelius. The decision to move was linked to Cornelius' charitable efforts begun a few years earlier to bring wedding dresses to Haiti.
"In order for us to continue that work, we downsized our store," she said. "It's just easier to manage a smaller store."