Economic Development Newsroom

Panera Bread To Open Downtown

Friday August 8, 2008

City works with company to create vibrant, outdoor dining area

Panera Bread, one of the nation’s fastest-growing restaurant chains, will open a store in downtown Louisville this fall.

Panera BreadThe 5,600 square-foot bakery-cafe will be located in Aegon Plaza on Market Street, across the street from the Kentucky International Convention Center. Renovation work is underway and Panera is expected to open in mid-October.

Panera’s outdoor dining area will face the public square and fountains of the city-owned Aegon Plaza. Panera is an ideal complement to the plaza, Mayor Jerry Abramson said. Patti Clare, interim director of the Downtown Development Corporation, said that the outdoor dining will add additional life and vibrancy to the plaza.

“Panera, like many local and national stores and restaurants, sees a bright future in our growing downtown,” Abramson said. “Panera is another quality restaurant that will serve visitors, workers and people living downtown.”

“We are thrilled to open our newest bakery-café in such a growing and robust community,” said Archie Karel, joint venture partner of Panera Bread. “We chose downtown as one of our strategic locations because it’s a highly dynamic neighborhood comprised of business professionals and families who desire fresh and nutritional food choices, paired with the convenient service that their busy schedules demand.”

Headquartered in Richmond Heights, Mo., Panera plans to open three to five new stores in Kentucky over the next 12 months, adding approximately 200 jobs.

Karel said Panera is committed to offering great tasting, quality food and serves antibiotic-free chicken, whole grain bread, select organic and all-natural ingredients and a menu with zero grams added of trans fat.

At the close of each business day, Panera donates bread and baked goods to community organizations. Panera Bread is also a sponsor of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Red Cross, among others.

About Panera Bread
Panera Bread serves fresh-baked, handcrafted artisan breads, sweet and savory baked goods, hand-tossed salads, wholesome soups and signature sandwiches in a distinctly warm and welcoming environment. Panera Bread is committed to using great- tasting, quality ingredients in the food we offer and contributing to the neighborhoods in which our customers and employees live and work through programs like Operation Dough-Nation®. Headquartered in Richmond Heights, Mo., Panera Bread owns and franchises 1,185 bakery-cafes under the Panera brand.