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 In HearSway

First Watch opens its Aberdeen location at 7 a.m. Wednesday, July 22. The chain that totally overhauled the former home of Panera Bread brings its brand of sandwiches, wraps, salad, and a whole lot of frittatas and omelettes to 1108 U.S. 15-501.

Plates served up during the restaurant’s soft opening on Monday, held to benefit the Make a Wish Foundation.

“It’s a wonderful location in a really beautiful area, that we know has lots of potential for growth,” said Mike White, of VIM Holdings, which owns multiple First Watch locations across the Triangle, as well as in Fayetteville.

Employees Kelsey Hund, left, and Reggie Hayes, with part owner Mike White during a soft opening on Monday.

The First Watch Aberdeen location, open daily from 7-2:30, is the latest addition — another will open in Holly Springs next month. And while Mike’s mission is to get mimosas flowing at all of his locations, Moore County’s will be the second to feature beer, hard seltzer and batch-made cocktails. Aaaand they start flowing when the restaurant opens (not until 10 a.m. on Sundays, of course).

The cocktail menu includes items like Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal Milk (coconut rum, cold brew, coconut milk and agave).

“Every market can use brunch drinks, but with the laid-back pace here, the golf traffic, we felt like the community needed a bar,” Mike says. “We decided to give it a shot and see what happens.”

Kim Chase, who’s been opening First Watch locations for VIM holdings for the past year and a half.

Mike’s business card describes him as a “People’s Champion,” which he uses to describe the company’s policy of putting people first by “making sure they have a development pipeline” in the restaurant industry. And, yes, at First Watch, masks are required — even in photos.

See the whole First Watch menu here, or follow the local location on Facebook.

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