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Panera Opens German Village / Brewery District Location

Walker Evans Walker Evans Panera Opens German Village / Brewery District Location
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It’s been nearly a year in the works, but the transformation of the old Clarmont restaurant space into the newest Panera Bread location is officially complete. The restaurant opened its doors at 684 South High Street today at 6am, and the first 500 customers starting at 10am will receive a free mug and coffee.

“This is a special opening for us since it’s so close to Downtown and in such a historic location,” said Sam Covelli, Owner/Operator of Covelli Enterprises, the largest franchisee of Panera Bread. ”We’re grateful for our continued growth in Columbus, and we hope the community will embrace our newest bakery-café and make it their new south side tradition.”

The renovated 5,200 square foot store features a new fireplace and seats 92 customers. A patio will open in the Spring to seat another 35 outdoors. The historic Clarmont sign has been preserved, which now displays the Panera logo.

In related news, Panera announced in January that they would be closing and relocating the Grandview Avenue store to Grandview Yard later this year.

More info can be found online at www.panerabread.com.

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17 Responses to Panera Opens German Village / Brewery District Location

  1. Hamsterdam February 11, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am

    Absolutely fantastic news for the German Village community.

  2. cretzler February 11, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am

    Yes, fantastic news! Another generic corporate chain restaurant in our urban center! We should REJOICE. This will make our neighborhood so much better and unique. I’m so glad the Claremont sign was “preserved”, it really makes this Panera Bread stand out compared to all the others that just look the same.

  3. chaserdanger February 11, 2014 1:08 pm at 1:08 pm

    Yes cretzler, because an empty restaurant sitting on an empty block across from a very classy gas station does wonder for the south side/German Village.

    A generic corporate chain restaurant shows the corporate restaurants are interested in downtown/urban core again and that does show how far Columbus has come. The city can’t be built on small businesses alone. It needs a thriving core of small businesses and national corporate chains to work together and they derive people to each other.

    If you know anything about Starbucks, a local coffee shop located next door actually gets a lot more business when a Starbucks is nearby because of it. Do your research first before you say something that makes no sense.

  4. SSBucks February 11, 2014 1:30 pm at 1:30 pm

    “Another generic corporate chain restaurant”

    Clearly someone doesn’t understand the concept of a franchisee.

  5. Bruss February 11, 2014 1:34 pm at 1:34 pm

    This is what our city has come to… getting excited over a Panera chain???

    I happen to live in GV and am bothered not by Panera, but by the sheep that will flock to this flavorless chain for free handouts and subpar food.

    Panera has the money to set up shop wherever they want and that is fine. However, I would challenge these sheep to experience something a little different, and in doing so, support a local food business. A novel concept…

    If you’re hungry and would like to see David thrive instead of Goliath, there are a multitude of options in and around GV.

    Olde Mohawk, Katzinger’s, Easy Street, Brown Bag, Kolache Republic, Thurman’s, and yes, even Schmidt’s need your support. Else, we will be subject to more bland/boring food options on this end of town.

  6. Geno99 February 11, 2014 1:41 pm at 1:41 pm

    @SSBucks, funny you should say that, because I have heard some negative things about one of the local Panera franchisees by someone I know who worked at one. Like they only allow attractive young women to work the register and anyone who is male or unattractive works in the back as well as some other hiring irregularities to the point that there is/were a possible lawsuit(s).

    I believe it is one specific, large franchisee. See this related Huff Post article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/26/sam-covelli-panera_n_2365953.html I’m not sure if this is the owner of this particular Panera. There have also been suits in PA where he owns some Paneras.

    I also heard that they don’t bake their bread there that it comes frozen and par-baked and they finish it proofers that are not that clean (she posted a picture of a moldy proofer on her FB account). I’m not sure if this was one exception or the norm but I’ve been a little nervous about eating at them since. Maybe someone else can confirm or deny.

  7. MHJ February 11, 2014 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm

    “I happen to live in GV and am bothered not by Panera, but by the sheep that will flock to this flavorless chain for free handouts and subpar food.

    Panera has the money to set up shop wherever they want and that is fine. However, I would challenge these sheep to experience something a little different, and in doing so, support a local food business. A novel concept…

    If you’re hungry and would like to see David thrive instead of Goliath, there are a multitude of options in and around GV.”

    Yes, eating at Panera means that you’re a “sheep” who would never EVER eat at an independent restaurant. EVER. It is a zero-sum game where you either eat chain restaurant food or you eat at independent restaurants.

    LOL

  8. SSBucks February 11, 2014 2:21 pm at 2:21 pm

    “This is what our city has come to… getting excited over a Panera chain???”

    -I think the excitement is more towards a previously abandoned building that was contributing nothing but blight to the streetscape is now an operating business with staying power that is providing tax revenue, jobs, and a needed breakfast option to the area.

    “I happen to live in GV and am bothered not by Panera, but by the sheep that will flock to this flavorless chain for free handouts and subpar food.”

    -Calling their food subpar is completely subjective. You claim you don’t have a problem with them, but disparage anyone who is a customer. Makes sense…

    “Panera has the money to set up shop wherever they want and that is fine. However, I would challenge these sheep to experience something a little different, and in doing so, support a local food business. A novel concept…”

    -So you’re assuming that because someone eats at Panera that they don’t eat at any local restaurants. Not only is this absurd, but it denies the fact that there is plenty of business to go around.

    “If you’re hungry and would like to see David thrive instead of Goliath, there are a multitude of options in and around GV.

    Olde Mohawk, Katzinger’s, Easy Street, Brown Bag, Kolache Republic, Thurman’s, and yes, even Schmidt’s need your support. Else, we will be subject to more bland/boring food options on this end of town.”

    –Every chain restaurant starts with a singular location that is little different from the list you mentioned. Just because they were successful and have expanded doesn’t mean they should be demonized. Should we stop eating at Piada and Jeni’s as well since they have multiple locations now?

  9. chaserdanger February 11, 2014 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm

    Didnt realize that ANY revitalization of that strip of High St, even by Corporate chains was a bad thing.

  10. Brewery District Dan February 11, 2014 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm

    As a resident of this area, I welcome any new business, including Panera and Westies. Looking at that empty, decaying building that had become a taxi stand really helped the neighborhood. I now have another option . Welcome Panera! You look great!

  11. ntn February 11, 2014 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm

    Wake up sheeple!

    If anything, I think more people are likely to stop in that are unfamiliar(somehow) with the area and it might spill over to discovering better options: Brown Bag, Katzinger’s, ect…

  12. Eugene_C February 11, 2014 3:36 pm at 3:36 pm

    I like that they sort-of preserved the original sign. I’m interested to see it light up. Green letters on a white background would have been more ‘period’ but it doesn’t look too bad.

  13. Graybeak
    Graybeak February 11, 2014 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm

    Organic sliced American cheese.

  14. mfl243 February 11, 2014 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm

    Should we stop eating at Piada and Jeni’s as well since they have multiple locations now?

    No, you should stop eating Piada because the food is God awful ;-)

  15. paul.szuter
    paul.szuter February 12, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am

    I look at this as a good thing. Yes, it is a chain restaurant, but it is also once step closer to density. The more the better! ANYTHING is better than nothing in Columbus. Now let’s get rid of the ocean of parking lots downtown before we can start being picky with who moves in, haha.

  16. Chris Sherman February 13, 2014 7:49 am at 7:49 am

    Panermont

  17. drubbs February 13, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am

    And @ChrisSherman wins

    (As I sip my 2 weeks of free coffee)

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