While many lake residents have speculated its existence for months, First Watch raised a banner at their new location Thursday in Osage Beach making it official. The restaurant will be housed in the old Bob Evans building near Bandanas BBQ and will host their grand opening April 27.

While many lake residents have speculated its existence for months, First Watch raised a banner at their new location Thursday in Osage Beach making it official. The restaurant will be housed in the old Bob Evans building near Bandanas BBQ and will host their grand opening April 27.

James Tillman, who now operates seven First Watch locations, worked alongside associates Joseph Hulston and Amanda Lehmann to make it all happen. With locations in Springfield, Joplin and elsewhere, Tillman says they were excited when the opportunity to come to the lake was available.

Lehmann noted that the tourism in the area was of course a big draw for them. Tillman added that Osage Beach made sense for their business model specifically because the area lacks many breakfast dining locations. Especially considering their healthy and fresh meal options, he added.

First Watch hosts a number of fresh meals, including state-sourced vegetable products from Kansas City and Springfield. Tillman says that customers can expect great meal options that trend on the healthier side of dining.

Tillman says that they will be modifying the previous Bob Evans locations with a fresh aesthetic to match existing First Watch locations. This includes a fresh, white coat of paint on the exterior (as seen in the render above), alongside new interior amenities and new kitchen equipment.

On top of new amenities, Tillman is excited to be hiring over 40 members to the staff to run the restaurant. Lehmann says they will soon be reaching out for applications for jobs such as host, server, cook and more. She says for people to expect these to be posted near the end of March.

Lehmann says that her main focus for coming to the lake was the community surrounding it. She says that the opportunity for the location to serve not only tourists in the summer, but the locals year-round is a great way for them to build their reputation as a great location to come to.

For Tillman, the reason for excitement sits much more personally. He says he grew up in Jefferson City and moved to Springfield in high school. All the while, the lake was a destination point for his family and friends. He says that the lake was a constant place he’d visit growing up and is excited to be bringing this business for all to enjoy.

“I feel excited to be coming back to my roots,” Tillman said. “We are very excited to be coming to the lake.”