Friday, May 20, 2022

Florida-based brunch restaurant First Watch coming to former Macaroni Grill spot in Mayfaire

Video: In April of last year, the $1 million restaurant location was demolished. Now, over a year later, new plans have been submitted.

WILMINGTON — Plans were submitted this week for a two-restaurant project on the location of the former Romano’s Macaroni Grill location demolished last year; the new Mayfaire building will house an outlet of the Florida-based First Watch brunch chain, as well as a second restaurant spot.

Related: These $1 million restaurants, empty for years, don’t factor into future planning decisions

The new building will be just over 6,000 square feet, with 3,500 square feet occupied by the First Watch, and around 2,500 occupied by an as-of-yet unnamed restaurant, according to plans submitted to the City of Wilmington earlier this week.

There are over 200 restaurants across 26 states in the First Watch chain, named for the early morning shift on oceangoing vessels; locations are traditionally open from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., serving breakfast and brunch options. The restaurant offers made-from-scratch menu items, eschews deep frying and heat lamps, and offers coffee by the pot along with complimentary Wi-Fi and newspapers. You can find more information at First Watch’s website.

The property is being developed by Tennessee-based CBL Properties, which owns Mayfaire, with planning and design by Raleigh-based Kimley Horn. CBL has not yet responded for a request for comment on the new project.

The location, 1035 International Drive, was formerly home to Romano’s Macaroni Grill, which closed in January of 2015 and remained vacant for three and a half years, until it was demolished in April of 2018. The neighboring property, 1055 International Drive, is also currently vacant and has been for a decade. It was formerly the home to the short-lived Main Street Brewery, and the Darden Restaurants franchise Smokey Bones before that.

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