When it comes to grabbing breakfast off busy Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. in New Tampa, there is no shortage of places to grab a pastry, donut, breakfast sandwich or a cup of coffee.
But, if you want a couple of eggs over easy, a strip of fresh bacon, a slice of warm toast and coffee in a ceramic mug, you’re pretty much out of luck.
However, the good news is that your luck is about to change.
The Brunchery, a popular Valrico restaurant locally owned for 30 years by Kevyn Farley and known for its stuffed French toast, grilled muffins and six kinds of eggs Benedict, is planning to open in the old Boston Market space on BBD the first week in December, if not sooner.
New owner Stanley Athan is enthusiastic about his latest venture. He grew up in Washington state, in a family that has spent more than 50 years in the restaurant business.
Athan’s first job was washing the dishes in one of his father’s restaurants at age 14, so he could earn enough money to buy a car when he turned 16. He is the youngest of three brothers, all of whom now own restaurants — Stanley owns Voula’s Good Eats, named after his mother, in Mountlake Terrace, WA.
When he started looking for new a new business to buy, however, a number of factors pointed him towards Florida. He spent eight months searching for a pizza place or a diner — anything but a chain eatery.
“Floridians are sick of chains,” he says. “They go because they don’t have other choices.”
When one of his old high school friends mentioned that the restaurant he lived down the street from, The Brunchery, was for sale, Athan quickly hopped on a plane.
“When I first walked in, it was exactly what I was looking for,” Athan says.
On his second visit, they got his order wrong. He ordered stuffed waffles, and instead was brought stuffed strawberry French toast. He said it was so good, however, he left a $10 tip.
The Brunchery wasn’t “broke,” so Athan didn’t have much to fix. The restaurant uses the same recipes that Farley used, continues to buy their products —bread, fruit, etc. — from the same vendors, and perhaps most important, serves the same coffee.
Athan merely added some social media muscle to the operation, and sales have been up since he took over in December of 2018.
Now, he is looking to duplicate the rooster-themed, country feel of his prized mom n’ pop at his 2,300-sq.-ft. space in Valrico to his new 3,100-sq.-ft. space in New Tampa, which will have seating for 100.
He is fully aware that a place to have breakfast in New Tampa is high on the wish list of many area residents.
The Brunchery is best known for its breakfast items — made-from-scratch Belgian waffles and French toast (for the special this week, they were stuffed with blackberries), homemade homefries, steak and eggs and breakfast scrambles — but it also has a lunch selection that includes burgers and sandwiches.
Athan said one of the best compliments he has gotten since taking over the restaurant came from one of his customers who is from New York, and said The Brunchery’s Reuben sandwich was the best he’s had since moving to Florida.
With chef and general manager Al Marku, Athan hopes to build the same loyal customer base in New Tampa that he has built in Valrico.
“We know what customers want and like,” Athan says. “We will be bringing that to New Tampa.”