Last Loaf For Panera Bread

Bad news for Panera Bread fans: The bakery/cafe on the Norwalk border closes on December 20. Sources say a rent hike is to blame.

That’s a shame. It’s often packed. Workers, seniors, moms and many others like it. Some grab a quick snack or lunch. Others linger for a loooong time.

Where will they go now?  Well, there’s one a short ways away, on Norwalk’s Main Avenue.

And there’s a Panera near the Southport border.

Sure, it’s all the way across town. But if you really love that focaccia bread…

The Panera Bread near HomeGoods.

The Panera Bread near HomeGoods.

(Hat tip: David Loffredo)

16 responses to “Last Loaf For Panera Bread

  1. Methinks the problem isn’t too much rent, but too many Paneras (and too many carbs!)

    • Elina Lublinsky

      Medisagrees. Respectfully, of course!
      If the case was “too many Paneras”, then this location wouldn’t be full of customers as it is at ANY time I am there. And I am there at least 3 times a week.
      Of all the fast food options around (and yes, I consider Panera a fast food chain, seeing how it never takes more than 5 minutes to get your food), it is by far the best one.
      I, for one, will miss Panera. In this location at least.

      P.S. Carbs are optional, no?

  2. Cathy Barnett

    Panera in Norwalk next to Wal-Mart on rte 7.
    Other stores there are Staples office supply, ULTA beauty products, the Paper Store, an eyeglass place, Mexican restaurant, need a coffee buzz there’s a Starbucks just down rte 7 south with a drive thru

  3. Dave Feliciano

    Nice food concept, overdone and overly ambitious expansion of franchising outlets of smaller footprint stores. Basically, It’s an upscale product in a downscale neighborhood. This store had very Poorly trained staff more interested in speaking with each other, than waiting on customers. It won’t be missed. In Westport the one near Village Bagel won’t last either. Just one man opinion, as Panera’s serve middle American style bagels. Yuck!!!
    Not a very good Cappuccino either. Sad when good paneras can be delicious.

    • Yup, and breakfast sandwiches taste like airline food.

      • Your so right Peter, thats because (like DD and Subway) they serve precooked, frozen then microwaved eggs and bacon.

  4. Dick Lowenstein

    I’ll miss it. Food is reasonably priced and tasty. I have found the staff extremely accommodating. Not many other close choices. Overpriced Whole Foods or McDonalds (ugh!). Senor Salsa up the road is good but how often can you eat Mexican cuisine.

  5. I was only there a few times, but it was solid middle-of-the-road fare, and not expensive as these things go. But parking was a nightmare, to the point where I’d think twice about meeting anyone there.

  6. Diane Mongiardo

    It’s the parking or lack there of.

  7. I think Panera’s gets extra points for hiring adults with disabilities.

    • Dick Lowenstein

      Thank you for mentioning that fact. Those employees are helpful and pleasant and do busing that similar places expect customers to do. BTW, as for parking, I often use the rear, lower-level parking. Great in inclement weather.

  8. Excellent food (for the price), excellent service. Have met there monthly with my group of breakfast friends and they let us sit for hours and hours. Always gracious and accommodating. I will miss it very much.

  9. I wonder if they’re in trouble and trying to cut costs… The panera in Newtown near stop and shop on 25 just closed suddenly, and the one in Darien is also closing. I always felt the food was ‘okay’, but priced high for what it is, without employees that particularly care or can offer recommendations.

  10. Isn’t there one in Westport in the same shopping center as HomeGoods or am I dreaming?

    • Elina Lublinsky

      Sure is. Just as good and just as conveniently located, but not close enough to the one that’s closing to be considered “too frequent”

    • Yep. Check out the last 2 paragraphs of my story — and the caption for the photo! – Dan