Panera coming downtown

May 22, 2008
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PaneraWeber Grill Restaurant could soon get some company. Panera Bread Co. is close to a deal to take the remaining portion of the former Old Navy space in Claypool Court. If landlord Simon Property Group closes the deal, it would be Panera's first location downtown. The Missouri-based bakery cafe concept has 30 locations in Indiana. Panera also owns Paradise Bakery & Cafe, which opened last year on the first floor of Chase Tower.
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  • Good news. I don't care that it's a chain, it's just good to have a bakery in the core of downtown.
  • A chain, blah. But as with the last post, it is nice to have a bakery addition downtown.
  • yes!
  • Not the biggest fan of chains, but Panera is decent. Good to see them downtown.
  • I've never been in one. Not because it's a chain, but because their name is ...Bread. How boring is that?
  • idyllic... I think you are jumping on the close minded bandwagon too soon. You should elaborate on why you think it's boring just because its name has the word bread in it. It is not only a bakery, it's also a restaurant that serves food. Food you'd consider better tasting and more fun to eat than across the street at McDonald's greasy salty crap.

    Surely I'm not a huge fan of chains either, but it is indeed a welcome addition to the downtown core for a bakery. Perhaps this could spur another bakery of another concept? (Independant) I just wish someone would do something to Illinois Building, that's a jewel ignored... WHY?
  • I agree that although it is a chain, at least we will have a bakery downtown that has a decent amount of variety and good bread. Panera is way better than Paradise Bakery plus it will bring more free wi-fi.
  • I prefer Au Bon Pain.......but there is already a location downtown.......a Scholar's Inn Bakehouse would have been good.....if you haven't been to their location in Broad Ripple give it try!
  • I had heard that McCallisters was also trying to find a spot downtown.
    I noticed the old Indian restaurant spot was still empty on Illinois.
  • Sweet! I can't wait!
  • A bakery downtown...hey all, Paradise Cafe, Au Bon Pain (2 locations) and our VERY OWN Scholar's Inn are downtown as well as Cafe Potachu. I don't think we lack a bakery at all. When Panera first came to town I immediately thought, There should be a downtown location, but that was geesh, 7 years ago now.

    Anyway, good to see them opening downtown.
  • McAllisters would Rock in the Illinois Building or the Indiana Garden. There need to be a few more options to the northwest of the downtown core. I'm in the 5/3 building and its hard for us to do a goo dhour lunch when we have to walk to all the restaraunts south of Washington along Penn; MaCallisters would be a welcome location.
  • Yeah, I have a soft spot for panera - so this'll be great.

    I don't like au bon pain - not sure why. Paradise's hours are kind of weird. I'm pretty sure scholar's inn (Sexy and Intimate) are no longer a baker. You'd have to hit up their bakehouse in broad ripple.


    Aren't we getting a local baker downtown? I forget if that was real, or if someone wanted one.
  • Panera's Brocolli Chedar Bread Bowl rocks. So does the lemonade.

    You people complaining its a chain are just stupid.

    And yes, MacAlisters would be awesome downtown!
  • Finally! My cravings for lousy soup and breads with names I am too dull to be able to pronounce can be satisfied!
  • I agree with everything you said BigRic.
  • I would like to point to everyone that, while not right in the center of downtown, Shapiro's has a pretty awesome bakery section in their deli. Best rye bread in the world (hyperbole so don't try to refute me), great cookie and cakes, and more. Also, 16th and capitol has Crawford's Bakery. While it is more pastry oriented it is none-the-less tasty.
  • Did Old Navy at Circle Center close? If so when?

    This post makes it sound like the Weber Grill is in the space where the Old Navy was and this is definatly not how it appears to be from the outside, so if a panera goes into this space would that mean that its on the 2nd floor instead of on ground level with an interior entrance, this would most likely not be good for business and would not scream ideal location.

    And if Old Navy is gone and can totally understand why, as if you didn't know they where there you wouldn't ever just casually go all the way down that way, and when ever they have an event in the Arts Garden access from Circle center to the old navy was blocked meaning that a dedicated shopper would have to go outside to cross the street.
  • Old Navy closed a couple of years ago........it was when they closed a couple of hundred locations nationwide.
  • They should have leased the former Flagstar Bank site.
  • And Matt, the reason Old Navy closed probably had less to do with their location (it was actually fairly accessible) and more to do with the fact that it was, well, Old Navy.... The poorly constructed, mass produced, with the OLD NAVY moniker splashed across the front in BOLD lettering so that everyone knew you got your shirts 4 for $20 look went out a few years back!

    Hooray for Panera! YUMMY!
  • There's nothing wrong with a Panera in that location in my view. It's not a huge special addition to the Indianapolis market, but it is a solid retail offering in an appropriate location that will serve a mix of office workers and visitors.
  • Matt-

    Anytime there is an event at the Artsgarden, the facility is NEVER fully closed. They always provide for access through the venue that loops around behind the stairwell so that Claypool is awlays attached to Circle Centre. You must remember that most State offices are attached to Claypool via underground tunnels and therefore will always have indoor access to Circle Centre.

    And yes, Old Navy closed-up long ago and Webber is located in half of the former Old Navy site.
  • Speaking of chains coming downtown, is the Panera Bread deal dead? I believe you said back in the spring that it was opening up next to the Weber Grill, but I haven't heard anything more about it.

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